Grand Cayman/ Cayman Islands January 19, 2014
Trinidad and Tobago were five minutes away from a FIFA Women’s Under 20 appearance, when it all came tumbling down by virtue of a resilient Costa Rica side who trounced the Soca Princesses 7-3 at the end of extra time.
With a chance to be the third CONCACAF representative at the tournament; Trinidad held a favorable 3-2 lead until Michelle Montero netted for Costa Rica. The extra period was all the Costa Ricans wanted as the Trinidadians ran out of steam and saw their hopes dashed.
Costa Rica joins USA and Mexico as the three teams to qualify from the CONCACAF region.
The grand final between the USA and Mexico ended 4-0 in favor of the USA.
Playing at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in George Town, Grand Cayman, it seemed like carnival celebrations were going to erupt when the Trinidadians went ahead in the 16th minute thanks to a strike from prolific goal scorer Anique Walker.
In the 28th minute Walker completed her double giving the Soca Princesses a clear 2-0 lead.
However, in the 33rd minute, the hard running Costa Ricans pulled back one off the boots of Melissa Herrera; but Trinidad and Tobago continued to push forward resulting in a goal in the 41st minute scored by Khadisha Debesette to end the first segment 3-1 in their favor.
Both teams regrouped and returned in the second half and played attractive football. It however became clear that Costa Rica was in no mood to lose this game as they scored in the 71st minute with a goal from Noelle Sanz to take the score to 3-2.
In the 85th minute Montero leveled the score
Extra time was needed to determine a winner and the Costa Ricans attacked with more urgency and seemingly fresher legs.
Substitute Nicole Araya gave the Spanish speaking ladies their first lead of the night in the 94th minute, and two minutes later Araya scored again bringing the score line to 5-3. Substitute Katheryn Arroyo was next on the score sheet for Costa Rica in the 115th minute followed by a goal from Captain Mariana Benavidez in the 121st minute to seal the deal ending the game 7-3.