ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada – Haiti’s first-ever win in the CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship ended up being historic for more than one reason.
On Thursday, in addition to acquiring three points for the first time in seven tournament outings, it equaled the mark for most goals scored in a single CU17W game with a 13-0 win over host Grenada. That impressive offensive output was matched only by the United States in a victory against the Cayman Islands by the same score six years ago.
“I hope that says we’re at the level of the U.S.,” laughed head Shek Borkowski, when informed of his team’s feat. “No, I hope it says that we’re making progress. For me, I’m looking at my last four years, where we started four years ago to where we are today…we’re a better football team right now at this level. We’re playing better. We have a better idea of how to play.
“But, for us, the road forward is still a long way to try to even narrow the gap against teams like USA, Canada or even Mexico. It’s still a long process. For sure, as I’m looking at where we are at with our youngsters today – U15, 16, 17s – we are definitely ahead of the game compared to where we were in 2012.”
That process took a big step forward in the performance against Grenada, especially when you consider that Haiti had scored only one goal over the course of two previous tournament appearances.
“In any big tournament, you really want to get off to a good start,” Borkowski expressed. “For us, getting three points was critical. We wanted to score goals, but it’s a difficult game because it’s an opener against the host. They want to make a good impression on the home fans from the beginning. We wanted to recognize and be respectful that this is bigger than just Haiti. This is about the development of women’s football.”
Next for the Caribbean runner-up is a meeting with Guatemala on Saturday. A win would put Haiti on track for a first CU17W semifinal berth.
“Guatemala is a little bit more seasoned than Grenada,” remarked Borkowski. “Knowing (Guatemala head coach) Benjamin Monterroso, I know he’s going to have his team very disciplined, they’re going to have a game plan and they’ll know exactly what the objective for them is.”
What can we expect from Haiti at the Grenada Athletics Stadium against the Central American side?
“We’re capable of doing better, not necessarily in terms of scoring, but more in terms of just playing…passing, movement, etc…,” Borkowski finished. “It’s a good beginning for us and I’m looking forward to the game against Guatemala.”