Jamaica's Asia Lee-Fatt (#9) in CONCACAF Women's Under-17 Championship action against El Salvador on October 30, 2013, at Catherine Hall Stadium in Montego Bay, Jamaica. (Photo: Mexsport)
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – Jamaica got its 2013 CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship campaign off to an upbeat start with a 2-0 victory over El Salvador on Wednesday at Catherine Hall Stadium.
The result places the tournament host at the top of Group A with three points. Mexico and Haiti drew 1-1 earlier in the day, leaving them level in second place.
On the offensive end, Robyn-Anne Whittaker was an influential figure for the Reggae Girlz.
In the third minute of first-half stoppage time, she burst straight into the heart of the Salvadoran defense and slipped an inspired pass to Asia Lee-Fatt, who was positioned just to her right. The 16-year-old forward took a separating touch and blasted a shot into the lower-left corner to give Jamaica a 1-0 lead.
Lee-Fatt made it 2-0 eight minutes after the break, knocking in a rebound off a Khadija Shaw effort from 18-yards out that struck the right post.
The Jamaicans were knocking on the door throughout the first half, but some intelligent defending and the woodwork prevented them from inflicting additional damage.
Whittaker, however, proved to be extremely difficult to contain.
After missing from the right side of the box, she cracked another attempt off the right post in the 14th minute. Four minutes before the break, the U.S.-based forward got a foot on a loose ball in box, forcing a save from Salvadoran goalkeeper Eleonor Zelaya.
The Central Americans saw their scoring chances limited mostly to set pieces.
Team captain Sandra Cortez sent a long-distance free kick high in the 26th minute and had another share the same fate early in first-half stoppage time.
A long-distance try by active left-sided midfielder Brenda Ceren in the 80th minute was El Salvador’s only shot of the second half.
In last minute of regulation time, Lee-Fatt came close to completing a hat-trick, only to see Zelaya dive to her right for a stunning stop.
Jamaica is now unbeaten in four of its last five CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship outings and will look to improve on its form against Haiti on Friday. El Salvador will hope to bounce back against Mexico the same day.