TRINIDAD and Tobago’s chances of advancing to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France are still alive but under threat, after battling to a 1-1 draw against a combative St Kitts/Nevis in their 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship Qualification Group C top-of-the-table encounter.
In front of an estimated crowd of 1,000 at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, St Kitts captain Phoenetia Browne’s second minute penalty for the Earl Jones-coached outfit was cancelled out by a brilliant free-kick from TT’s skipper Tasha St Louis in the 79th. The result leaves TT (with a plus 13 goal difference) and St Kitts/Nevis (with a plus 11 goal difference) both on seven points from three matches with two wins and a draw.
It may well come down to goal difference to determine the group winners, who will then progress to the CONCACAF Women’s Championship Qualification Final Round scheduled for late August.
St Kitts/Nevis will tackle the United States Virgin Islands tomorrow from 4 pm followed by the TT vs Grenada contest at 6.30 pm.
Browne silenced the home fans with her early penalty which was awarded for a handle-ball infringement by defender Rhea Belgrave. TT, in the space of a minute, then spurned two good opportunities to equalise.
Janine Francois, unmarked in the penalty box, elected to pass to Patrice Superville instead of shooting to goal, and Superville’s effort was blocked by goalkeeper Kyra Dickinson in the 33rd. Dickinson was called into action a minute later to block Mariah Shade’s left-footed effort.
It was one-way traffic in the second half, but St Kitts/Nevis proved a tough nut to crack, with Dickinson producing an impressive display.
She came off her line to block St Louis, who was sent on goal by Shade, in the 56th. When she was not saving efforts, the crossbar came to her rescue as Karyn Forbes’ long-range try from the left hit the uprights in the 62 nd.
St Louis came to TT’s rescue with a free-kick, which was pushed into the net by Dickinson’s right-hand, after a foul on Forbes by midfielder Leranja Wilkinson.
And in the last minute, Shade met Prince’s right-sided cross from two yards out but her header smashed off the crossbar and stayed in play.
Earlier on the day, Dominica and Grenada – both out of contention for a spot in the Final Round – battled to a 1-1 draw.
Dominica opened the scoring through Romeicia Phillip after 29 minutes before Monique George replied for the Grenadians in the 64th.