Sports

U-17 Girlz tackle Bermuda in CFU qualifiers

BY RUDDY ALLEN
Observer staff reporter
ruddya@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Jamaica's Under-17 Women's team will begin the defence of their Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Championship title when they tackle Bermuda in a Group F contest, the first game of a double-header at the famous Stade Sylvio Cator Stadium in the Haitian capital today.

The Young Reagge Girlz, who won the title for the first time in 2015 after defeating Haiti 2-1 in Puerto Rico, will kick off proceedings at 4:30 pm (3:30 pm Jamaica time), while Puerto Rico will face Cuba in a Group G encounter later at 7:30 pm (6:30 pm Jamaica time).

Head coach Xavier Gilbert said that all is well with the girls ahead of their crucial opening encounter against their neighbours.

“Everything is good so far. I mean, they [young Reggae Girlz) are good, they are in good spirit and that is very important. Here in Haiti is a little bit better than what we had expected, and so we are thankful for that as the accommodation has been good... the vibes are good and I think that the team is ready to go,” Gilbert said.

In the opening game of the championship, Bermuda and Trinidad and Tobago played out to a 2-2 draw on Monday, while in the other group hosts Haiti defeated Puerto Rico 3-0.

Gilbert, who was present at the opening games, said that while he is anticipating a competitive match from Bermuda, he expects the Jamaicans to come out on top.

“It is going to be a tough encounter as I have anticipated... I think that they [Bermuda] were unlucky not to win the game against Trinidad and Tobago. But looking forwards to our game, Bermuda have some good players offensively and we have to be mindful of that and we are just going to be prepared for that.

“Defensively, I think that they [Bermuda] are weak and very vulnerable and we got to exploit those areas and capitalise on them. Our plan, of course, is to go out there and isolate two of the defenders that we think are very weak and see if we can hit the ball there as often as possible,” said Gilbert.

Aaron Denkins, the Bermuda head coach, is also expecting a very competitive match between his side and the Jamaicans.

“It was a difficult match the other day against Trinidad and Tobago. We have some players come in from overseas and it was the first time that they actually played with the team. For the most part of the game I think we played well, I think that we were the more dominant of the two teams; it is just some little mental areas we need to work on.

“We lost our two best attacking players to injuries and that is when Trinidad and Tobago got back into the game. we will just have to go back to the drawing board and just get ready for the next match.

“The Jamaicans have always been tough opponents and they are familiar players as well. We played against this team [Jamaica] in almost every round of matches in different competitions and so I think we know what to expect. I think after the Under-20 in Bermuda, Jamaica knows what we bring also and so my expectation of our match against them tomorrow (today) is a good, tough match,” Denkins told the Jamaica Observer.

The Jamaicans will next play Trinidad and Tobago on Friday. The winners of both groups will square off for the championship and will also get automatic qualification to next year's CONCACAF championship.

The runners-up from both groups will also tackle each other for the third and final spot to book a ticket to the CONCACAF championship.

Jamaica (from) — Monique Perrier, Giselle Washington, Chantae Blackwood, Jaden Roberts, Gabrielle Scarlett, Sydoney Clarke, Olufolasade Adamolekun, Shereece Young, Tacia Austin, Shaquilla Forbes, Rochell Gray, Shania Harris, Nevillegail Able, Kersha Thomas, Christina Salmon, Stacyann Clair, Moesha McLaughlin, Miliah Atkins, Chelisa Schloss and Davia Richards.

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