Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
Jamaica had to overcome a scare in their 2013 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Women's Under-20 top-of-the-table clash against Dominican Republic yesterday at Anthony Spauldings Sports Complex to emerge 2-1 winners.
Dominican Republic's captain, Lissy Maria Sanchez Guzman, opened the scoring in the 25th minute, much to the surprise of the partisan gathering.
The young Reggae Girlz roared back, however, courtesy of strikes from Kayla Gray (38th) and Nichole Harris (47th) to top the group with a perfect three wins and nine points.
"It was a competitive game, but I think we still dominated the game and it's just unfortunate that we conceded the first goal of the tournament," said Jamaica's coach, Xavier Gilbert.
Jamaica will tomorrow tackle Group B runners-up Cuba in the second of two semi-finals at the same venue, with Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago meeting in the first. The matches are set for 6 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively.
"We are familiar with the Cuban players and we anticipate that it is going to be another tough fight as all the teams want to qualify," Gilbert pointed out. "I think the girls are equipped and ready to retain the CFU championships."
The two finalists will advance to the CONCACAF stage, to be played next year, as one of three qualifiers from the Caribbean, with hosts Cayman Islands being the third.
In the opening game of yesterday's double-header - which was a match of mere academic interest and pride - St Kitts & Nevis defeated Suriname 5-3.
St Kitts & Nevis' goals were scored by Brittney Lawrence (34th), Phoenetia Browne (36th, 39th) and Kerisha Powell (48th, 85th).
Suriname's goals were netted by Andaya Landveld (6th and 50th) and Pamela Ansoe (90th).
The victory earned St Kitts & Nevis their first points of the round, as they placed third (three points) with Suriname finishing pointless at the foot of Group B standings.