Playing at over 9,000 feet above sea level, Trinidad and Tobago managed a 0-0 draw vs. Ecuador on Saturday in Quito, Ecuador, in the first leg of the Women’s World Cup qualifying intercontinental playoff.
The winner of the home-and-home series will advance to the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada. Leg two of the series will be played in Trinidad and Tobago on Dec. 2, four days before the World Cup draw. The second leg will reportedly be played at Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
Ecuador had several chances to pull ahead in the match, including in the 80th minute when T&T goalkeeper Kimika Forbes made a huge save on Ligia Moreira.
The Soca Princesses prepared for the high elevation by training in Mexico City following an invite from Mexico coach Leo Cuellar.
Trinidad and Tobago made the playoff by finishing fourth in CONCACAF qualifying in October. T&T twice missed out on direct berths to the World Cup, losing to Costa Rica in the semifinals on penalty kicks and falling to Mexico in extra time in the third-place match.
Ecuador made the playoff by finishing third in CONMEBOL, behind qualifiers Brazil and Colombia.
Neither Trinidad and Tobago nor Ecuador has ever qualified for the Women’s World Cup. No Caribbean nation has ever qualified for a Women’s World Cup.
Qualified thus far for the 2015 Women’s World Cup are: Canada (host), Brazil, Colombia, Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, England, France, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Costa Rica, Mexico, the United States and New Zealand.
Ecuador: 1.Shirley Berrus, 19.Kerly Real, 3.Lorena Aguilar (Yellow 27), 16.Ligia Moreira, 6.Angie Ponce (Yellow 34), 18.Adriana Barre (Yellow 35) (14.Monica Quinteros 46th), 20.Andrea Pesantes, 13.Madeline Riera (8.Erika Vasquez 56th), 7.Ingrid Rodriguez, 10.Ambar Torres (11.Elizabeth Caicedo 81st), 9.Gianina Lattanzio
Unused substitutes: 4.Merly Zambrano, 5.Mayre Olivera, 12.Irene Tobar, 17.Tamara Angulo
Coach: Vanessa Arauz
Trinidad & Tobago: 1.Kimika Forbes, 4.Rhea Belgrave, 5.Arin King, 8.Patrice Superville, 9.Maylee Attin Johnson (capt) (Yellow 35), 14.Karyn Forbes, 11.Janine Francois (7.Dernelle Mascall 75th), 20.Lauren Hutchinson (2.Ayanna Russell 65th), 12.Ahkeela Mollon, 3.Mariah Shade (10.Tasha St Louis 66th), 19.Kennya Cordner
Unused substitutes: 17.Sandra Baron (GK), 6.Khadidra Debessette, 13.Anique Walker, 16.Jasmine Sampson, 18.Khadisha Debessette
Coach: Randy Waldrum
Referee: Bibiana Steinhaus (Germany)