PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (CMC):
Trinidad and Tobago scored a hard-fought 1-0 victory over host Haiti to capture the inaugural Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Under-17 title here Sunday night.
The game's only goal came in the 40th minute on a play started by midfielder Chevonne John, who maintained her balance after bypassing her marker.
John then relayed the ball to Zoe Swift, who found an open Summer Arjoon in the penalty area, who hit past goalie Jonie Gabriel to give Trinidad a precious 1-0 lead.
Haiti stepped up their attack in the second half and Trinidadian goalie Nicolette Craig did well to push a well-placed shot from Sherly Jeudy over the uprights in the 55th minute.
"The game came down to tactics, and being a goal ahead, I wanted to preserve that lead. I had a lot of confidence in my defenders and the way they were cutting out the spaces in the midfield," declared Trinidad and Tobago coach Marlon Charles.
"I cannot say if my plan would have changed had Haiti scored, but they didn't, so it's safe to say that it worked. I must also thank Haiti for a good game, and they played well to reach to the finals."
The much-anticipated final was played in front of 6,800 spectators who braved the inclement weather to witness the game at the Sylvio Cator Stadium
Haiti took the attack to the Trinidadians from the opening whistle, much to the delight of the boisterous crowd, which came armed with musical instruments and dancers.
Trinidad, on the other hand, started cautiously, paying special attention to Haitian playmaker Isnada Lebrun and the tournament's leading goal scorer Batcheba Louis as they completely marked them out in the first half.
"We learnt a lot from this game and it has prepared us well for the CONCACAF Under-17 qualifiers," said Haiti's Coach James Morisset.
"Who knows? Maybe we will meet Trinidad again for a rematch," he said.
Trinidad's Summer Arjoon was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
In earlier action, Puerto Rico took third place by defeating Bermuda 2-0, thanks to a brace from Monica Ocasio in the 20th and 70th minutes.