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Under-17 Women pull back to earn a draw against Belize

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Asha Stevenson taking the penalty that put them back in the game, while Belize's Carlene Tilett looks on.

A late penalty by teenage sensation Asha Stevenson was enough to put the BFA’s Under-17 Women’s National Team back in the running for the Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championship Qualifiers. 

While the female Tridents had some opportunities to score in the first half of the game, held at the BFA’s Wildey Turf, they failed to break quick enough to catch the Belizeans out of position, giving them the upper hand. 

The first-time encounter, between the two teams in this division, began slowly as they appeared to be feeling each other out on the ball. However, as the clock struck the 15-minute mark, the visitors picked up the pace, appearing the more comfortable team on the Turf, and were on the ball at every turn. Barbados, always a few steps behind, were able to stop them in their tracks with great effort on the part of midfielders Jessie Robinson and Daphne Watson-James. 

Belize’s Florine Vasquez created the most danger for the home team and took a shot on target in the 27th minute that went too high and over the crossbars, forcing the Bajan lasses to reset. 

As the game continued, few scoring opportunities were had for the Tridents as they failed to get more players forward and reducing their likelihood of making good on the scoring opportunities provided. 

In the final ten minutes of the first half, Kerisha Catlyn, on a straight trajectory to score the first goal of the game, was unfortunately double-teamed by the opposition, despite taking out three defenders as she showed her ball skill, ending the first half goalless. 

Eleven minutes into the second half, Belize saw a scoring opportunity and made good on it when goalkeeper Lisa Harding came out the bars too soon, misjudging a bouncing ball, and Jesselle Conorque got an easy header, which nestled into the back of the nets, giving them the advantage. 

As the clock rounded on the 78th minute, Stevenson proved to be the lifeline for the Bajan Belles much to the delight of the fans in the stadium. 

Following a handball in the box from Belize, Stevenson stepped up to the ball, and with all eyes on her, slammed the ball to the left and straight into the back of the nets, as the stadium erupted, levelling the playing field and giving Barbados a point to end their encounter 1-1. 

In the earlier encounter, St Kitts and Nevis demolished USVI 10-0 to take the lead in Group C. 
The action continues at the Turf tomorrow when Belize and USVI will begin the attack at 4:30 p.m. and Barbados will face St Kitts and Nevis at 7 p.m. 

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