Despite trashing St Kitts and Nevis 8 – 0 in their opening game, Guyana’s senior National Women’s team will not be taking the Cuba lightly when the two sides meet tomorrow (Sunday August 22) in Group Four of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) leg of the Olympic Qualifier.
Otesha Charles’ hat-trick (23rd, 25th and 46th minute), followed by a goal each from Mariam El-Masri (52nd minute), Kayla De Souza (65th minute), Alison Heydorn (85th minute), Calaigh Copeland (77th minute) and Olivia Gonsalves (87th minute) propelled the Guyanese women to an easy win but now, a clash against group favourites Cuba stands between Coach Mark Rodrigues side and the next round.
Based on the result of the first game, a victory against the Cubans will solidify the Lady Jags’ entrance into the next round of the qualifiers since only one team will advance.
As much as Head Coach Mark Rodrigues was pleased with the result of the game against St Kitts, he made it clear that his focus has already moved to the team’s next game on Sunday against Cuba, while trying to get the players to recover and addressing what they need to work on to improve their performance.
This is not the first time the two countries are meeting. In fact, it was at the expense of the Cubans that Guyana qualified for the 2010 Gold Cup in Mexico, after winning a home (3 – 1) and away (0–1) playoff to become the first Guyanese team to feature at the Gold Cup; the pinnacle of CONCACAF football.
Group One will be hosted by Puerto Rico and fields Aruba, Puerto Rico, Haiti and Grenada. Group Two features St Lucia, Antigua & Barbuda, the Cayman Islands and Trinidad & Tobago, to be staged in Trinidad & Tobago.
The Group Three games will be played in Suriname and the teams in this group are Dominica Republic, Dominica and Jamaica.
The 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship qualification will decide the participating teams of the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, a women’s football tournament to determine which national teams qualify for the women’s football tournament at the 2016 Summer Olympics from the CONCACAF (North, Central America and the Caribbean) region.
A total of eight teams will play in the final tournament: three teams from the North American Zone (NAFU) (Canada, Mexico and the United States, which qualify directly for the final tournament), two teams from the Central American Zone (UNCAF), and three teams from the Caribbean Zone (CFU).
The 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship acts as qualification to the 2016 Summer Olympics women’s football tournament for CONCACAF, with the top two teams qualifying.