Benna Girls Advance Unbeaten In CONCACAF Qualifiers

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The Antigua and Barbuda senior women’s national football team, are through to the final round of the CONCACAF Caribbean Women’s Qualifiers, following a 1-0 triumph over St. Lucia in their Group D decider at the Antigua Recreation Ground (ARG) on Sunday.
Striker Britney Edwards netted within the first two minutes of the contest to put the Benna Girls in control of the match and the home team was able to hold the St. Lucian attackers at bay for the remainder of match to come away unbeaten.
They finished with nine points as the lone team to advance from the four-team group.
Coach Vincent Samuel praised the team’s defense for their standout performances throughout their two previous tournaments.
“Any team that only gave up one goal in five games is rather commendable. I think the defensive unit is really solid. There are some creases to be ironed out and we are looking forward as much as possible to try and get that. We had one striker [Damali Simon-Ponte] coming in and she is a remarkable talent. She is pretty young, about 19 years old [17 years old], and we are hoping to give her a map so that when she goes back she can continue to work hard,” he said.
Antigua and Barbuda will play in the final round which is slated for the end of August. A host country has not yet been named.
According to Samuel, the technical team will
now sit and plot the way forward.
“We will sit together, myself and the technical director and the coaches that are around us. We are going to give the girls some time off, we know the overseas players will go back to their respective colleges and homes in the next two or three days. We are going to definitely invite some more players to the training so that we can have that competitive edge and more players at least working hard to achieve the status of making the team,” the coach said. 
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA), Everton Gonsalves, commended the national squad on advancing from Group D.
“We are now amongst the crème de la crème of hosting countries and we will be joining the crème de la crème in terms of competition on the field at the finals and so that is a clear indication that the ABFA knows it’s business and I want to give a special shout out to all executive members and every single person that played a part in the hosting and preparation of the team over the last couple of weeks as it ended in a wonderful success,” he said.
St. Lucia finished second with six points, Curacao were third with three points while St. Vincent & the Grenadines finished at the bottom of the standings without a point.

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