Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 17 women footballers are seemingly peaking just in time for the start of the FIFA Under 17 Women’s World Cup as they produced a scintillating performance in their final warm-up international to whip European second placed team Republic of Ireland 3-0 at the Pine Island Soccer Complex in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday evening.
The result was a much welcomed one for T& T head coach Even Pellerud who gave full credit to skipper Lauren Schmidt and her teammates but warned against complacency as T&T head into their World Cup opening match against Chile next Sunday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain from 6pm.
T&T got three clinically taken goals from forwards Brianna Ryce, Diarra Simmons and Camille Charles for the much deserved win. The Irish tried all they could to break down a stubborn T&T defence and had two chances at goal to get back into the match but were denied by a solid Linfah Jones in goal for T&T.
“It’s hard to say who is the most shocked coach at this time, the one from Ireland or the one from T&T. The UEFA number 2 ranked and so far unbeaten team could not handle our young ladies this Saturday evening,” Pellerud told TTFF Media after the match.
“Playing all their regular starters did not help them much. Our girls put on some relentless pressure on the Irish passing game and organized some attacks that always seemed to cause a lot of damage in their defensive end,” the Norwegian continued.
Ryce scored a header on the first post, Simmons was on spot to tap home T&T’s second item while Charles put T&T 3-0 ahead with a spectacular diving header.
“These last games with an unbeaten streak of 3 international wins (all against WC teams) should provide the confidence that is much needed. Most importantly, the team would now realise that we are on the right track,” Pellerud added.
“There is no need of any dramatic changes in approach and training regime over the next week, which would have been a very unfortunate conclusion if we had performed poorly today.
The camp here in Miami has already proved to have been of crucial importance to us, and I thank all that made this camp possible in the last minute.
“We will now train here over the next day or so and return to Trinidad late Monday. We look forward to settle down in our team hotel and calmly prepare for this phenomenal event in Trinidad & Tobago. We seem to be ready for this big challenge.
“It’s a great result for us but we are well aware that the matches in the World Cup starting with the opening one on September 5 is of most importance so we will not allow this result to make us feel we have reached our highest point. We will continue to focus on getting the job done during the World Cup,” Pellerud concluded.
T&T also defeated Barry University’s Women’s team 4-1 in a friendly on Thursday night. They will face Chile at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on September 5 at 6pm before taking on fellow Group A opponents Nigeria on September 8 at 7pm at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium and Korea DPR at the Ato Boldon Stadium on September 12 at 6pm. (Aug 28,2010)