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Trinidad and Tobago put one foot in Semifinal with win over Haiti

Trinidad and Tobago put one foot in Semifinal with win over Haiti

Posted by Shanelle Weir on October 18, 2014

After winning against Guatemala with just 10-players two nights ago, the shoe was on the other foot for Haiti tonight as they lost 1-0 to Trinidad and Tobago who played the final 29 minutes of the match with 10-players after having their keeper sent off in the 61st minute.

A show of great sportsmanship last week saw Haiti donating some of their own very limited funds to Trinidad and Tobago. That was last week, however; tonight was a different story in a match that was feisty at times and saw five yellow cards plus the red.

The 1st half was played primarily in the middle third of the pitch, with neither team generating much in the way of scoring opportunities. A 22nd minute free kick from Haiti’s Wisline Dolce got caught in the wind and nearly dipped just under the crossbar, but keeper Kimika Forbes tipped the ball over.

Forbes was super human against the United States on Wednesday, however, she misjudged the ensuing corner and awkwardly punched it out, allowing Haiti a chance at an open net. The opportunity would have had to have been well taken, however, and ended up going well wide of the post.

Haitian keeper Geralda Saintilus had an impressive match of her own on Wednesday, being forced into action after Cynthia Chery was sent off with straight red and immediately stopping a penalty. However, in her first action she misplayed a 26th minute cross which went over her head but, fortunately for her, wide of the far post.

The Soca Princesses got on the scoreboard in the 37th minute off a header from the speedy Kennya Cordner, who was able to get on to a long cross from Akheela Mollon and put the ball past Cordner.

Trinidad and Tobago were in cruise control for the remainder of the half, until a poor back pass nearly sent Haiti’s Marie Jean Pierre through on goal, however she was unable to control the interception and Forbes came out to pounce on it.

Both teams made a substitution at the half, but the second stanza started much the same way as the first with Trinidad and Tobago in control, but neither side creating much in the way of opportunities.

The clearest cut opportunity in the early part of the 2nd half fell to Haiti in the 54th minute after Cordner was ruled to have played the ball with her hand. The ensuing free kick bounced around in the box with Haitian players trying to get a crack at goal, however the ball was finally cleared out for a corner.

Controversy came in the 61st minute when the Trinidadian keeper was sent off with a straight red for apparently elbowing a Haitian player after clearing a loose ball out of play. Forbes had drawn a warning minutes earlier for standing over a Haitian player and expressing her displeasure after a corner, and the referee had had enough. On replay, however, it looked a highly questionable decision.

As a result of the card, Tinesha Palmer had to enter the game to preserve the lead. The new keeper looked hesitant in the 64th minute on a ball into the box, but Haiti could only get off a soft header into the keeper’s hands.

Palmer looked much better three minutes later when a through ball found Samantha Brand; the keeper bravely rushed out and stopped Brand’s shot.

Trinidad was very well organized and disciplined in defense against the United States on Wednesday, while Haiti wore themselves out defending their lead with 10-players against Guatemala. The tenacity of the Soca Princess defense, and perhaps fatigue on the other side, kept Haiti at bay for most of the remainder of the match.

The closest Haiti came to scoring came in the 87th minute when Roselord Borgella attacked down the right side and beat the keeper with a pass across the front of the goal. Arin King was able to clear the ball of the line before a Haitian player could put it in the back of the net, however.

The win puts Trinidad and Tobago level on points with Haiti in Group A, likely tied for second place in the Group, assuming the United States beats Guatemala in the nightcap.

Trinidad and Tobago will face Guatemala in the final match of the Group Stage on Monday, while Haiti will be looking at a probable loss against the United States. This means the Soca Princesses likely need only a draw against Guatemala to qualify for the Semifinals and, at least, a playoff against Ecuador for the final spot in the World Cup.

A Guatemala win would leave all three teams tied on 3 points. The first tiebreaker would be goal differential in matches between the three teams (right now Haiti is at 0, Guatemala at -1 and Trinidad and Tobago at +1). If Guatemala won by one goal to leave all three teams even on goal differential, the next decider would be goals scored in matches between the three teams then goal differential in the Group. Trinidad and Tobago holding the USA to one goal would likely come into play then.

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