Haiti qualified for the CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship for the first time, beating the Cayman Islands 3-0 Tuesday to become the first team from the Caribbean to make the eight-team field.
Yolande Merone, who will turn 18 on Thursday, scored in the 11th minute — a fourth goal in five games — to pace the victory and give her a team-leading five.
Haiti finished atop its final round qualifying group with nine points, three better than Jamaica, which defeated the host Dominican Republic 4-0 in the nightcap of the doubleheader.
The result left Jamaica in position to claim the third of three Caribbean berths in the CONCACAF finals.
Cuba and Puerto Rico lead the other qualifying group with four points, one ahead of Trinidad & Tobago heading into Wednesday’s final round of matches in Havana, Cuba. The group winners plus the best runner-up out of the two groups qualify.
Merone’s goal put Haiti ahead 1-0, Ketura Robuste doubled the advantage in the 40th and Sindy Jeune completed the scoring in the 65th.
The victory follows a 4-0 win over the Dominican Republic on Sunday and a 1-0 win over Jamaica on Friday that finished an unbeaten five-game run through qualifying in which Haiti outscored its opponents 18-0.
Haiti joins host Panama for the March 1-11 CONCACAF finals along with Guatemala and automatic North American qualifiers Canada, Mexico and the United States.
CARIBBEAN 2ND ROUND
Jamaica U20 0 – 1Haiti U20
Dominican Republic U20 0 – 0 Cayman Islands U20
Puerto Rico U20 1 – 0 Trinidad and Tobago U20
Cuba U20 5 – 1 Guyana U20
Cayman Islands U20 0 – 2 Jamaica U20
Dominican Republic U20 0 – 4 Haiti U20
Trinidad and Tobago U20 2 – 1 Guyana U20
Cuba U20 1 – 1 Puerto Rico U20
Haiti U20 3 – 0 Cayman Islands U20
Dominican Republic U20 0 – 4 Jamaica U20
Guyana U20 1 – 0 Puerto Rico U20 (10:00 AM)
Cuba U20 1 – 1 Trinidad and Tobago U20 (3:00 PM)
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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