Mexico Qualifies for 2015 World Cup; Clinches Third Place in CONCACAF Women’s Championship

Mexico defeated Trinidad & Tobago, 4-2, in the third-place match of the 2014 CONCACAF Womnen’s Championship. With the win, Mexico has qualified for the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada. Trinidad & Tobago will face Ecuador in a two-leg playoff for a spot at next year’s World Cup.

Charlyn Corral
Charlyn Corral scored two extra-time goals to help Mexico defeat Trinidad & Tobago, 4-2, in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship. (Photo: C. Hobgood)

Mexico broke through first in the 24th minute off a Stephany Mayor shot inside the box. Mayor did well to bring Charlyn Corral’s cross down and her first touch created space to get off a curling right-footed shot that beat Trinidadian keeper Kimika Forbes.

Though it took an early lead and held possession for long stretches, Mexico often lacked energy on the offensive end and organization on the defensive end. Mexico didn’t look like a side that had rested several starters in its semifinal loss against the United States. Then again, maybe it shouldn’t have been surprising since throughout the tournament, Mexico has started each half slowly.

Trinidad & Tobago, coming off a 120-minute game that went to penalty kicks in its semifinal loss to Costa Rica, had few opportunities forward and was unable to consistently get the ball out wide where it could take advantage of its speed on the flanks.

Coming out of the half, Trinidad & Tobago looked more positive going forward and it paid off in the 57th minute when the equalizer came. Kennya Cordner got on the end of an Ahkeela Mollon cross in from the right and redirected the diving header past Mexican keeper Pamela Tajonar.

Trinidadian goalkeeper Kimika Forbes kept it level seconds later with a point-blank save as Mexico attached off the restart. Forbes was tested again in the 73rd minute when Charlyn Corral got around her defender to fire a shot that Forbes saved.

Trinidad & Tobago wasn’t done, however. Mariah Shade poked a loose ball past Tajonar in the 78th minute to give the Trinidadians a 2-1 lead.

Mexico wasn’t done, either. Less than a minute after Shade’s goal, Sandra Stephany Mayor, so good for Mexico all tournament, sent a well-weighted cross into Monica Ocampo, who headed home the six-yarder to level the match at 2-2.

In the 86th minute, Trinidad’s Forbes stretched out to her right to deny a curling set-piece kick from Monica Ocampo.

Neither team was able to break the stalemate and the game ended in regular time, 2-2.

In the first extra time period,  Trinidad & Tobago came out strong despite playing back-to-back 120-plus minute games. Mexico went ahead on a Charlyn Corral in the 104th minute. Corral brought down a Kenti Robles cross and coolly poked it past Forbes to the right post.

Corral would add the insurance goal in the 106th minute off a through ball and slotted the right-footed shot to the far post.

The 4-2 win clinched third place for Mexico in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, but more important, the win secured a spot for El Tri at the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada. It will be Mexico’s third World Cup and its second straight.

Trinidad & Tobago will have another shot at the World Cup when it meets Ecuador in a home-and-home playoff for the final spot. The Soca Princesses won’t have long to dwell on the CONCACAF semifinal loss as they meet Ecuador in the first leg of the playoff in Quito, Ecuador, on November 8th. The return leg will be played on December 2.