(KAIETEUR NEWS) — St. Lucia, led astutely by their Captain Krysan St. Louis, who blasted all three goals against Antigua and Barbuda last night, became the first team from Group A to advance to the Round of 16 when the third night of action in the Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship was played at the Leonora Track and Field Facility, Leonora, West Coast Demerara.
The St. Lucians notched their third win of the group in as many matches and lead the points standings with 9 with their final match to play tomorrow against Guyana which will determine which nation tops the group.
Last evening’s second match saw Bermuda securing their first points thanks to a 4-1 win over Suriname which remains winless.
St. Louis continued her rich scoring form and is the leading scorer with five (5) following her double against Bermuda on Monday evening last when they triumphed 2-1. Like she also did in that Bermuda win, St. Louis found the back of the nets early, she was on the score sheet in the 14th and 20th minutes setting the perfect platform for her side.
They never looked back and despite Antigua and Barbuda reducing the advantage when Danesia Wilson scored in the 39th minute from a long-range shot, the St. Lucians never panicked as they went on to record another victory and qualification to the round-of-16.
The lone goal in the second half was scored by St. Louis in the 72nd minute, formalising their dominance on proceedings.
Bermuda were able to stem the tide of losing with a comfortable 4-1 win over Suriname having lost to Guyana and St. Lucia, before. They were only ahead by a single goal after the first half thanks to Nia Christopher’s first goal of two which was scored in the first minute of added-on time (45+1).
They looked a bit scratchy in the first half and were not composed in the final third but that scenario changed for the better in the final half as they fired in three more goals to Suriname’s, one.
Ryley Simmons tucked in a brace of her own in quick succession (56th & 58th) after which Christopher emulated her with her second of the match on the 61st minute. Suriname had netted a consolation goal one minute before Christopher achieved her double when Orthea Riley found the back of the nets.
Meanwhile, Coach of the St. Lucia team, Emanuel Bellas expressed delight at being the first team to qualify out of the group noting that that was their aim all along.
“We are also aiming to top the group because we still have one game but I am satisfied with the amount of effort the girls have put into the tournament knowing we have some persons who are nursing injuries and still giving you the effort that is needed, I think that is commendable.”
Bellas was high in praise for his charges that have scored a total of nine (9) goals to date in their three victories. Already, he said they would be pulling out all the stops for the round-of-16 where they would be coming up against teams of a higher caliber, “So we’ll make sure that our training is going to be intensified.”
Bellas also informed that apart from the programme the St. Lucia has in place for the girls, their level of determination and interest in the sport must also be recognised.
“Some of these girls have come from the school system but I think the programme that we have back home that is aimed at developing female football, could be credited towards the performance of these girls.”
Play will continue tomorrow with what is anticipated to be the match of the group when Guyana’s ‘Lady Jags’ matches skills with St. Lucia in the clash of the unbeaten nations from 20:30hrs.
Opening rivalry will bring together Suriname and Antigua & Barbuda from 18:00hrs.