• Friday Jan 13, 2012

    Cuba, Jamaica claim last U-20 women spots

    HAVANA, Cuba - Rachel Peleaz scored for a third straight game and earned Cuba a 1-1 draw with Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday, sending it and Jamaica to the CONCACAF Under-20 Women's Championship finals.

    Peleaz's 48th-minute goal equalized after a 20th-minute opener from Janelle McGee gave Trinidad the lead, McGee's third goal in five games of qualifying. Peleaz had a goal in Cuba's 1-1 draw with Puerto Rico on Monday and a pair in Saturday's 5-1 win over Guyana. She had six goals in five games overall in qualifying.

    The result finished Cuba atop its final-round qualifying group with five points, one better than Trinidad and Puerto Rico, which fell to Guyana 1-0 earlier Wednesday. It also gave Jamaica the final berth in the eight-team CONCACAF finals field.

    Jamaica finished second behind Haiti with six points in the other final-round Caribbean qualifying group. Haiti clinched its berth on Tuesday with a 3-0 victory over the Cayman Islands.

    Puerto Rico was in position to claim the Havana group berth with a victory over Guyana, which had lost its two previous matches - against Cuba and Trinidad -- by a combined 7-2, but surrendered a 27th- minute goal by Ashlee Aliyah and never was able to equalize.

    It will be the sixth straight appearance in the U-20 women's finals for Jamaica, which finished as high as fourth in 2006, and third straight for Cuba.

    Haiti, Cuba and Jamaica will join host Panama, Guatemala and automatic North American qualifiers Canada, Mexico and the United States for the finals, March 1-11 in Panama City.

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