Jamaica, Cuba in top-of-the-table clash
Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
JAMAICA AND Cuba will clash in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Women's Under-20 Group Four World Cup Qualifier in a contest to decide group winners and bragging rights at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex in Trench Town today, starting at 6 p.m.
Both countries booked their spots in the next stage of the qualifiers following victories on Thursday. Jamaica hammered Bermuda 6-0 while Cuba blanked Bermuda 4-0. Hosts Jamaica and Cuba are locked on six points apiece, however, the local girls enjoy a superior goal difference. Hence, a draw in today's game will see them winning the group.
The eight qualifiers to the next stage to be played in Puerto Rico in October are Jamaica, Cuba, Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts/Nevis, Suriname, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago and the Dominican Republic.
"Well, from the outset we plan to win the group, and that has not changed," said Xavier Gilbert, the Jamaica Football Federation's women's programme assistant coordinator.
"They (Cuba) try to put the ball on the ground, but I don't think they are strong enough to beat us. Their number 10 (Samantha Statia) is the team's best player," Gilbert shared.
Jamaica's striker Oshay Nelson-Lawes will look to add to her six goals scored in the team's previous two games. She scored a hat-trick against Bermuda on Tuesday and netted three times against Curacao two days ago.
Nelson-Lawes should get assistance from Kayla Gray, Trudi Carter, Georgia Bailey and Courtney Douglas for another win.
Meanwhile, the Jose Elejaide-coached Cuba will rely on captain Regla Ponce Martinez, vice-captain Yarisleidis Mena Noro, goalkeeper Monica Padilla Fonseca, Yoana Calderon Gonzales, Ollancy Arrebato Gainza and Yarenia Rosa Perdomo Riveria to continue winning ways in today's top clash.
In the first game of the double-header, Bermuda will face Curacao in a game of academic interest.
- Points standing
P W D L GF GA GD Pts
Jamaica - 2 2 0015 0156
Cuba - 2 2 0010 0106
Bermuda - 2 0 02 011-110
Curacao- 2 0 02 014-140