Kennya Cordner (pictured) scored twice in Trinidad & Tobago's win over Guyana in the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship on February 16, 2016, in Houston, Texas. (Photo: Mexsport)
HOUSTON -- Trinidad & Tobago (2W-0D-1L, 6 points) earned a place in the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship semifinals as one of the top two teams in Group B after a 5-1 win over Guyana (1W-0D-2L, 3 points) on Tuesday at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Kennya Cordner netted a brace for the Women Soca Warriors, while Mariah Shade, Ahkeela Mollon and Jenelle Cunningham added one apiece. Bria Williams was the scorer for Guyana.
T&T will play either the United States or Costa Rica in one of two semifinal matches Friday, depending on Canada’s result against already-eliminated Guatemala in the group-stage finale later in the evening. The Canadians have maximum points from two games and enjoy a significant advantage in goal difference (+11 to -1).
In a game that T&T needed to win in order to advance, Cordner provided the necessary boost, opening the scoring in the seventh minute. The 27-year-old forward darted into the box to collect a superbly weighted pass from Mollon, took one touch to the right and rounded goalkeeper Chante Sandiford for the right-footed finish.
Two minutes later, Mollon maintained possession in the right side of the box, before finding a wide open Mariah Shade for an exquisite left-footed shot across the goal and into the top-left corner to make it 2-0.
Despite Guyana’s Justine Rodrigues applying an inadvertent touch past Sandiford, Cunningham was given credit for a goal that originated with her shot from the left side of the box, increasing T&T’s lead in the 16th minute.
The outstanding Mollon got on the scoresheet in the 21st minute thanks to an energetic sprint that saw her race in from the right, get behind a defender and latch on to a defense-splitting pass by Tasha St. Louis. Sandiford charged out to cut down the angle, but Mollon smartly angled her effort off the right post and over the line.
Guyana pulled a goal back in the 43rd minute, when T&T goalkeeper Kimika Forbes sent an errant pass along the ground from outside of her box directly to Guyana’s Bria Williams. Without hesitation, the 20-year-old defender lofted a right-footed shot from 35-yards out into the back of the net.
Any hopes of a Guyana comeback were dashed in the 61st minute as Sandiford parried Mollon’s right-sided shot into the path of an unmarked Cordner, who hit the open net from seven-yards out for her fourth career CWOQ goal.