Trinidad & Tobago Advance to Semifinals of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying

Trinidad & Tobago defeated Guatemala, 2-1, in its last Group A game of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The win, combined with the United States’ defeat of Haiti in the later game, sends Trinidad & Tobago through to the semifinals of the tournament.

Kennya Cordner (19) scored in Trinidad & Tobago’s 2-1 win over Guatemala in a Group A game in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship. #457557016 /

Neither team scored in the first half but both sides put together good scoring chances. Trinidad & Tobago had the better of the opportunities, including shots by forward Kennya Cordner and Ahkeela Mollon that tested Guatemalan goalkeeper Alicia Navas after the half-hour mark.

While Guatemala was pinned back into its defensive third for a good part of the half, it had possibly the best chance of the half when a through ball got forward Aisha Solorzano in behind the defense, but Trinidad & Tobago goalkeeper Tinesha Palmer stood tall and made the save in a one-on-one situation. Palmer started the match in place of regular starter Kimika Forbes’, who was suspended after picking up a red card against Haiti last Friday.

Trinidad & Tobago brought on forward Mariah Shade for Anique Walker and it almost quickly paid off as Shade was on the end of an intricate passing play around the 18-yard box but her shot missed wide of the mark. In the 64th minute, Guatemala nearly caught Palmer in no man’s land as a ball over the top drew the keeper out but Daniela Andrade’s shot didn’t have enough steam to get it across the line as Palmer scrambled back to corral the effort.

The Soca Princesses broke through in the 74th minute through play on the right flank. Mollon’s back-post cross was headed in by Cordner, giving the former Seattle Reign FC forward her second goal of the tournament. Trinidad & Tobago sealed the result in the 82nd minute as Cordner made a weaving run into the box from the left flank, averting four defenders before Guatemala’s Londy Barrios brought her down in the box. Trinidad & Tobago’s captain Maylee Attin Johnson converted the penalty by slotting the spot kick to Navas’ left.

Guatemala scored a consolation goal in the 90th minute when Maria Monterroso headed home a free kick from Kimberly De Leon, giving the Guatemalan’s their first goal of the tournament.

Trinidad & Tobago Head Coach Randy Waldrum’s 52nd-minute substitution of Shade into the match brought more speed against a tired Guatemalan team that helped to create opportunities for her teammates. Cordner put in another strong performance and constantly got herself into wide positions to keep the Guatemalan defense on its heels throughout the game.

Trinidad & Tobago will most likely face Costa Rica in the semifinals at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. on Friday, October 24.