By Neto Baptiste
Despite their opening one-nil loss to hosts Curacao in Group C of their 2022 Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship Qualifiers on Wednesday night, coach of Antigua and Barbuda women’s team, Karen Warner, said the players remain positive as they hope to take full points from their final match against St Lucia on Friday.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show from Curacao, Warner said there were many positive takeaways from the loss.
“At the end of the day and during the entire game, there were moments that we were pleased with; where they distributed the ball well, but at the end of the day, the end results and the finishing, we really didn’t capitalise on the opportunities we got. They [Curacao] got an opportunity and they capitalised on it. We are not down on the girls, but we just thought we could have come out with three points from this game,” she said.
“We had a discussion [after the game] and they know what their mistakes were and we had a meeting where they spoke about their mistakes, so we are hoping to capitalise and clean up where we went wrong and try to win this next game,” she added.
Curacao clinched first place in Group C with the victory thanks to a 34th minute strike from Sadeyah Rosa, who hit past Antigua and Barbuda’s Jewel Harve in goal to put the home team in command before the half.
In the end, Rosa’s drive proved decisive as Antigua and Barbuda failed to really trouble the Curacao defense.
Warner said that in the end, the players gave their best to execute the plans laid out by the coaching staff.
“We know they play most of their balls through the middle, so the game plan was to try and use our widths because we know we had two players on the wings so we were going to capitalize on our wing players and we did that, but I think that when it was getting down to the end of the game, players were tired, fatigue was basically taking over, so they don’t want to hold the ball too long, so they just want to get the ball up, but that was really the game plan, to use our wide players and to capitalise on what our strengths were,” the coach said.
Antigua and Barbuda will play St. Lucia at 8:00 pm on Friday night as they wrap up their campaign.
Other matches played Wednesday, saw Suriname finish atop Group D after their 3-2 triumph over Belize while in Group A, St. Vincent and the Grenadines played to an exciting 1-1 draw with the US Virgin Islands, earning each side their first point.
Also, Bahamas collected a big win in Group B by downing Anguilla in a 1-0 final.