Trinidad and Tobago have qualified for the finals of the 2013 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Women's Under 17 Final, after defeating Puerto Rico in the first semi-final at the Sylvio Cator Stadium in Haiti.
In a scoreless first half, Trinidad & Tobago’s best chance came from Corel Carmichael who broke through the Puerto Rican defence in the 25th minute, but her effort was well saved by Yeishalee Berrios in goal.
Puerto Rico answered almost immediately with an attack, but Mariana Lopez-Crespo's shot from 10 yards was equally well saved by Nicolette Graig.
The Puerto Ricans, however, were dealt a blow when Lopez Crespo was substituted in the 41st minute due to fatigue. Puerto Rico broke the deadlock in the 48th minute when Monica Ocasio delivered a corner into the goal area and Captain Marjorie Martinez volleyed home.
Trinidad & Tobago’s Soca Princesses needed a lift and they got it in the 69th minute when their captain Zoe Swift stood just inside the 18 yard box and blasted the ball into the roof netting of the Puerto Rican goal to level the score at 1-1.
At the end of 90 minutes the game was tied at one goal apiece, and 30 minutes of extra time had to be played to determine the winner. Trinidad & Tobago’s Dennecia Prince delivered a free kick into the goal area which was taken by Swift, who in turn passed the ball to Carmichael who easily hit past Berrios in the 95th minute.
Four minutes later, Summer Arjoon placed a corner which Maya Matouk headed into goal to make it 3-1, and Prince put the final nail into Puerto Rico’s coffin when she scored from a volley (90+18) to take the Soca Princesses into Sunday's final.
In the second match of the doubleheader, the Haitian team kept the home fans happy with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Bermuda.
Haiti went ahead in the third minute when Sherly Jeudy relayed a cross into the path of Isnada Lebrun, who struck the ball into the back of the net to give Haiti a 1-0 lead at the end of the first half.
Haiti executed their game plan of shutting out Bermudian striker Aaliyah Nolan to perfection as Soveline Beaubrun and Jennyfer Limaje marked her completely out of the game. Nolan was also frustrated by the lack of assistance she was receiving from her midfielders.
The Haiti team then made it 2-0 in the 62nd minute when Jeudy fought her way down the left flank to keep the ball and shoot past Goalkeeper Micah Pond as she came off her line.
Leading goal scorer of the Tournament Batcheba Louis, netted two goals within one minute, to take her tally to 16 goals in four matches. Her first was from the penalty spot in the 78th minute, and the second, an easy shot at goal in the 79th. Bermuda's coach Aaron Denkins praised his team’s spirit, and also expressed the view that the performance gap between teams is narrowing in Caribbean football.
Coach of the Haitian team James Morisset expressed elation with the result, but stated that the focus is now on victory over Trinidad & Tobago in Sunday’s Final.