Young Girlz hunt quarter-final berth in CONCACAF Champs
HOWARD WALKER Reporting from the CONCACAF UNDER-15 CHAMPIONSHIP in West Bay, Grand Cayman
WEST BAY, Cayman Islands — Jamaica's Under-15 female footballers will be hunting a spot in the quarter-finals of the CONCACAF Under-15 Championship when they take on an extremely weak Anguillan team at the TE McField Sports Complex today at 7:30 pm.
Jamaica, following their 5-0 win over Belize, should be joined into the next stage by Costa Rica, who tackle Belize in the curtain-raiser at 5:30 pm.
Both Jamaica and Costa Rica, who defeated Anguilla 5-0, are heavily fancied to secure easy wins today as they are clearly more advanced than their opponents.
Having seen Anguilla in action, head coach Xavier Gilbert, is extremely confident of securing win number two and a spot into the next round.
"Based on what I saw of the three teams, I think Anguilla is the weakest, but they might come out better. But what I saw, I don't think they have much to offer and one of their weakest points is their goalkeeping, so we will see how best we can exploit that," noted Gilbert.
In their opening game, the Young Reggae Girlz were very wasteful in front of goal, and although they won easily in the end, the score should have been in double digits.
In the first 10 minutes they missed at least six clear chances before young Cockburn Gardens school striker Chavelle Henry opened the floodgates in the 15th minute, nodding home a Shanhaine Nelson left-sided cross.
Monique Perrier then doubled the advantage with a shot from just outside the box as Jamaica went to the break two goals up.
The outstanding and game's MVP, Nelson then made it 3-0 from the penalty spot in the 40th minute before Sherice Clarke added another with a fine solo effort, gliding past three players in the 45th. The towering Tarania Clarke scored a 35-metre effort for Jamaica's fifth and final goal two minutes later.
Gilbert believes his team's profligacy in front of goal were down to nervousness and an inadequate warm-up before kick-off.
"We didn't really have anywhere to warm up and they put us on a court which is concrete. Having not been able to use the ball might have affected them because that's not how we normally warm up -- not getting a feel of the ball until in the game and nervousness might have contributed to the slow start," he pointed out.
"But we had total dominance of the game, we should have scored some more goals, but they are youngsters and very nervous and just didn't exercise that level of composure that I would have liked them to have in front of goal," Gilbert added.
Gilbert is expected to make one change to the starting line-up, bringing in the 12-year-old Jody Brown from Lime Hall Primary of St Ann. And the youngster, who wears the famed number 10 shirt, has an eye for goal and will add punch to the front line, claimed Gilbert.
Brown came on as a substitute on Thursday and showed tremendous pace and skill and could make her mark against what is a slow-looking Anguillan outfit.