Trinidad & Tobago defeated Haiti, 1-0, in group play of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship. The win pulls Trinidad & Tobago level with Haiti in the group stage, and sets up a crucial match against Guatemala on the final day of Group A play in Washington, D.C., on Monday.
Trinidad & Tobago maintained the bulk of possession in the first half, playing with the discipline and organization it showed against the United States in an earlier 0-1 loss in group play. The Soca Princesses worked down the right side, looking for Ahkeela Mollon, who gave Haiti fits all match. In the 37th minute, it was Mollon who sent in a terrific cross to Kennya Cordner, whose header found the back of the net after bouncing off the far post.
Haiti came out of halftime pressing high and looking to find the equalizer. Its first chance came in the 54th minute after a free kick bounced around in Trinidad & Tobago’s box before Samantha Brand cleared the ball. Brand was Haiti’s best player on the night and was seemingly everywhere.
In the 61st minute, Trinidad & Tobago goalkeeper Kimika Forbes was shown a straight red for what looked like a elbow to the face of Haiti’s Brand. Haiti looked to test backup goalkeeper Tinesha Palmer right away but Palmer came up big in the 67th minute by denying Brand on a breakaway.
However, Haiti was unable to capitalize on its one-player advantage. Its final opportunity to equalize came in the 87th minute when build-up play along the right side resulted in a cross across the goalmouth that was cleared by Trinidad & Tobago’s Arin King.
With the three points, Trinidad & Tobago are tied with Haiti on three points in Group A.
Trinidad & Tobago will face a Guatemala team smarting from a 0-5 loss to the United States. The biggest concern for the Soca Princesses is the loss of starting goalkeeper Forbes after her red card in the 61st minute. Forbes was a standout in the 0-1 loss to the United States and Trinidad & Tobago was fortunate Haiti was unable to score off any of the communication miscues between backup goalkeeper Palmer and the back line. Head Coach Randy Waldrum will need to stress continued discipline and organization and look to Mollan to continue to create from the right side of the pitch.
Haiti’s task is much tougher as it faces a United States side that looked its best so far in the tournament in the second half of its 5-0 win over Guatemala.