The curtain came down on the 2013 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Women’s Under-17 Tournament on Sunday September 29, at the Sylvio Cator Stadium in Port-au- Prince, Haiti.
Standing tall at the end of the 10 day event was Trinidad & Tobago, who defeated host Haiti 1-0 in the Final and inspired the Soca celebrations into the night, as their vocal fans were delirious with joy. Haiti, however will not feel too hard done by despite the loss, as the team will still qualify for October’s CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Qualifiers in Jamaica as one of the two teams advancing from the CFU by virtue of reaching the Final of this Tournament.
In a free flowing game, both teams sought the advantage in contradicting styles as Haiti went on the offensive from the opening whistle utilising the flanks, whereas Trinidad & Tobago opted to sit back and wait for the counter-attack through the middle.
In the 40th minute it was Trinidad & Tobago who gained the upper hand through midfielder Chevonne John, who maintained her balance after bypassing her marker, and relayed the ball to Zoe Swift who then found an open Summer Arjoon in the penalty area. She struck the ball firmly past goalkeeper Jonie Gabriel to give the Soca Princesses the lead.
Haiti tried their best to seek the equaliser but to no avail as Trinidad & Tobago changed their plan to become more defensive, and distracted the free-flowing Haitians from their game.
When the final whistle blew it was joy for the ‘Soca Princesses’ and a measure of disappointment for Haiti’s ladies, but they held their heads high and, true to the spirit of the game, respectfully hugged and shook the hands of the victors.
In the contest for third place, Puerto Rico defeated Bermuda due to a Monica Ocasio brace in the 20th and 70th minutes. It was a fitting end to a Tournament which saw eight of the Region’s best teams (Trinidad & Tobago, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominican Republic and the US Virgin Islands) give their best and embrace all the positive qualities of football and fair play.
The Referees discharged their duties well, as they kept the teams in check and adjudicated fairly throughout the Tournament. The Haitian Football Federation also executed its mandate well, as the Local Organising Committee ensured that all the needs of the teams and officials were met in a timely manner.
As the confetti rained down on Trinidad & Tobago’s victorious team during their celebrations, CFU General Secretary Damien Hughes said that he was pleased by what he saw during the Tournament.
“I am very pleased to see these young ladies give their best, and even happier to see the people of Haiti embracing all of us. I now wish the teams the best of luck as they move to compete at the CONCACAF level and I am certain that they will continue to make the Region proud.”