T&T goalkeeper Kimika Forbes along with her supporting back line were heroes for this country when they stood tall in a narrow 1-0 loss to world powerhouse USA when both teams met on Wednesday night in the first match of the final round of Fifa Women’s World Cup 2015 qualifying matches.
Tonight’s, much will be expected from the attacking front when the T&T women go in search of their first points at the Concacaf Women’s Championship against early joint leader Haiti in the second match of the competition.
T&T faces Haiti at 6.30 pm, at Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Illinois, and Randy Waldrum’s players will enter the very much aware of their ability to claim a much desired win, a result which will aid in the team’s progression to the knockout stage.
As it stands, USA and Haiti sit joint at the top of the four-team group A standings with three points after both teams secured one-nil wins over T&T and Guatemala, respectively. And, once T&T shows the same cohesiveness, skill and determination against Haiti as it did against the USA, a win ought to be on the cards.
It took a headed goal from USA’s record goal scorer Abby Wambach into an empty net in the 54th minute to separate the runaway favourites and the underdogs. Despite being somewhat out of position for the goal, Forbes was superb throughout, making nearly a dozen saves.
The vocal custodian was a barrage particularly against Wambach, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd. Forbes was also supported well by centreback Arin King, who has proven to be one of T&T’s most important players.
“The players executed the game plan very well. Kimika was outstanding for us in goal and Arin King was a rock in the back line,” said Waldrum after the match.
The win for the US took its all-time recorded to 8-0-0 over T&T, now with a combined total of 52-2. Wednesday’s win for the US was not one that left the players nor coach completely satisfied and quite the opposite for Waldrum, who had his own issues to deal with off the field prior to the start of the tournament.
“I’m very proud of my team,” said Waldrum, who took charge just before T&T’s Women’s Caribbean Cup exploits in August. “I think they made all of T&T proud tonight. I know they made me very proud. I thought defensively we were very tight and organised and we were able to create a few decent chances off the counter,” he added.
He added, “Maylee (Johnson, captain) and Brianna (Ryce) did massive work for us in midfield, and Yaya (Kennya Cordner) was always dangerous off the counter... Overall a very good performance,” he added.
Looking ahead to tonight’s fixture, Waldrum maintained a cautious stance. “We’ve got to regroup and focus on the next match which is very important for us and which I expect to be a really tough encounter as both teams want it badly,” Waldrum said.
Haiti’s clash with Guatemala in the opening fixture was also a nail-biter and it took a 70th minute goal from Lindsey Zullo from the Caribbean team to separate the two.
Tonight, following T&T’s meeting with Haiti, USA will be eager to record a win and by a much more comfortable scoreline against Guatemala.