With Jamaica falling 2 – 1 to Trinidad and Tobago last night, it meant that the Lady Jags will have to play the Reggae Girls tomorrow (Friday) at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Trinidad, for the final spot to see who will represent the Caribbean at the CONCACAF round of the Women’s Olympic Qualifier.
Guyana has never played Jamaica in a senior women’s football match, so the first meeting between the two countries should be interesting and historic in its own right.
Despite Jamaica having a more robust approach to women’s football, like Guyana, they too have looked overseas to muster some of their best talents to help push their country to the Olympic Games next year.
While Guyana had dominated their contest against Puerto Rico but fell 1 – 0 late in extra time, Jamaica was lucky enough to hold the usually hungry ‘Trinis’ to some degree.
Jamaica would score in the 45th minute through Jodi Ann McGregor giving the Reggae Girls the lead into halftime.
Trinidad and Tobago eventually pulled one back in the 59th minute with Derelle Mascall levelling the match and Tasha St. Louis’ goal in stoppage time (90+1 minute), turned out to be game winner to hand the Soca Princesses a ticket to the next round.
“We will leave it all on the field” said the Lady Jags’ head Coach Mark Rodrigues, looking ahead to Friday’s match.
It will be a ‘must win’ match for the Guyanese women and one the head coach is certainly looking forward too, especially after conceding a late goal, against a team that he pounded to the ground but his troops failed to put away the easy chances that were at times gifted to them.
Reflecting on his team’s dreadful loss to Puerto Rico, Coach Rodrigues lauded the women’s performance but acknowledged that Guyana’s inability to put-away their easy goal scoring chances came back to haunt them in the end.
“The girls played hard and I’m extremely proud of them, despite the result. I’ve seen the improvement when I look back at when we first came together for the camp in Toronto, then in July in Guyana; they have grown so much and that’s why it was sad for me to see us going down like we did, but we will rebound” said Rodrigues.
Trinidad and Puerto Rico by virtue of reaching the finals, have already secured their place as the Caribbean’s representatives at the CONCACAF playoffs.
The USA, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica and Guatemala, have all qualified and would await the result of the Guyana/Jamaica game to see who will round off the eight-team CONCACAF Olympic Qualifier.
The CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship 2016 will be played in the United States from February 10-21, 2016, in the Houston and Dallas metropolitan areas.
The two venues for the competition are BBVA Compass Stadium, home to the Houston Dash of the NWSL and the Houston Dynamo of MLS, and Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, home to FC Dallas of MLS.
The top two finishers in the tournament will qualify for the 2016 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament.