Sports

Young Girlz keep hopes alive with 3-1 win over T&T

...meet Puerto Rico in third-place play-off

BY RUDDY ALLEN
Observer staff reporter

Saturday, October 21, 2017

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Jamaica's Under-17 Women's team kept their CONCACAF Championships hopes alive with a come-from-behind 3-1 win over Trinidad and Tobago in their final Group F encounter in the CFU Championship, at the Stade Sylvio Cator in the Haitian capital yesterday.

Needing to win, the Jamaicans did just enough to secure a place in the play-offs. The Jamaicans will more than likely meet Puerto Rico tomorrow for a place at next year's CONCACAF Championship to be held in Nicaragua.

Olufolasade Adamolekun led the scoring for the Jamaicans with two beautiful goals in the 69th and 85th minutes, while Captain Monique Perrier got the other goal in the 30th minute. Aaliyah Prince had given Trinidad and Tobago the lead in the sixth minute.

Jamaica went straight on the attack from the opening whistle but were again pushed on the back foot when Prince beat Chelisa Schloss in goal to give Trinidad and Tobago an early lead. The young Reggae Girlz regrouped and almost responded soon after, but Adamolekun's strike was kept out by Chelsea Ramnauth in goal for the Trinidadians.

Five minutes later, Adamolekun was at it again, but her shot from 25 yards out flew inches over the crossbar. And the Jamaicans continued their pressure in attack, but were denied on numerous occasions.

The young Reggae Girlz eventually got their reward at the half-hour mark when Perrier headed home from a well-taken corner kick by Sydoney Clarke to pull the Jamaicans level. Clarke then went close to adding her name to the score board in the 35th minute, but her strike from a distance went wide of the goal.

The Jamaicans continued their dominance on the resumption and immediately went straight for goal with some good opportunities, but the attackers failed to convert.

Perrier had a clear chance to put Jamaica in front, but she fired over the crossbar in the 66th minute in what could have been a moment of joy for the young Reggae Girlz.

Adamolekun capitalised on a defensive mix-up from the Trinidadians to fire past Ramnauth in the 70th minute, giving the Jamaicans the lead. The Texan-born Adamolekun almost grabbed her second a minute later, but her shot was kept out by Ramnauth.

However, her brace inevitably came five minutes from time when she picked up a delightful through pass from Giselle Washington and turned a defender on her way to firing past Ramnaught, to seal the win for the young Reggae Girlz.

Head Coach Xavier Gilbert praised the girls for a spirited performance after falling behind early.

“It was a good game. I thought we made it a little bit harder than it was, but I think we dominated right throughout. We managed to get the job done and credit must be given to the girls for their efforts. Unfortunately, we went behind early, a little mistake, but that is the nature of the game; but they managed to come back strong,” Gilbert told the Jamaica Observer in a post-game interview.

“We now have to look forward to the game on Sunday and I think it is going to be a tough one, but we are up for the challenge,” the tactician noted.

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