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The Week in Women's Football: Faroe Islands national team review; Cuba and Jamaica advance to CFU finals; New date for CONCACAF U17 qualifiers;

This week we look at the state of women's football in the far north of Europe—the Faroe Islands—as well as discuss the first two Caribbean teams advancing to the CFU Finals for 2019 WWC Qualifying and present an update on plans for the CONCACAF U-17 Women's World Cup Qualifying Tournament, which was shut down during civil unrest last month in Nicaragua.

Faroe Islands Review

The Faroe Island's National Women's Team is in a very difficult Group 5 for 2019 UEFA Women's World Cup Qualifying, having been drawn with Germany, Iceland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia. So far, after 5 games, they have lost every game and scored no goals with 37 surrendered. They fell to Germany 11-0 (away), the Czech Republic (home) and Iceland (away) by 8-0 scores and to Slovenia (away) and Iceland (home) by 5-0 scores. The team first participated in WWC qualifying for the last Women's World Cup in Canada (2015).

Traditionally national team players are home based, with a few in Denmark:

Monika Biskopstø—AaB

Lív Finnbogadóttir Arge—FC Nordsjælland

Ásla Johannesen—FC Nordsjælland

Olga Kristina Hansen—BSF

Currently there is one player each in Spain (Midfielder Eyovor Klakstein is with Mislata in Spain's fourth division after playing with CD Marion is Spain's second league after time at home with KI Klaskvik) while defender Rebekka Danielsen plays with Forus og Gausel in Norway's lower levels.

In Non-FIFA tournaments, the side has done much better, having won three Island Games Titles in 2001, 2003 and 2005 and they also participated in the Algarve Cup in 2010.

On the club side, the clubs are entirely home-based, with a couple of exceptions on the coaching side, with KI's Aleksandar Djordjevic of Serbia, who has coached in the country since 2009, including at AB and B36, and has been a FI national team coach as well. He played defender in Yugoslavia, Serbia, Australia and in Switzerland. B 68 Toftir coach Philip Frikke-Schmidt is originally from Denmark, but has been coaching and working in the Faroe Islands for years.

So far this season in the six team league, EBS/Skala, HB and KI are tied at the top with 18 points, though EBS/Scala has the advantage on goal difference (+26 to +18 for both HB and KI). IF Vikinguer (6 points) are followed by B36 and B68, each on 1 point, with all three clubs having played 7 games.B36 and B68 have each let in a boatload of goals (30 and 32 respectively) while each has only scored 3 goals, with their tie coming in a 0-0 deadlock on April 2. National Team midfielder Heidi Sevdal (HB) leads the table with 9 goals, followed by Durita Hummeland and Birna Mikkelsen (both EBS/Skala) on 7 goals.

In 2017, EBS/Skala won the title (played in four rounds) with 52 points from a 17-1-2 record, just pipping KI, based in Klaksik, on 50 points with a 16-2-2 record. KI had won the championship 18 times, including 17 times in a row from 2000 through 2016. Sevdal, who played for EBS/Skala in 2017, led the league with 32 goals, with Rannva Andreasen (19 goals) and Malena Josephsen (15 goals)—both of KI—far off the pace. Sedval scored 33 for HB in 2013.

CONCACAF Caribbean 2018 Qualifiers—Cuba and Jamaica are through to the next round

In the first round of CONCACAF 2019 World Cup Qualifying in the Caribbean Football Union sub region, held from May 5 to May 13, Cuba advanced as the winner of Group A, pipping Puerto Rico by 10 points to 8 points after their 4 games. The Puerto Ricans, coached by veteran Polish-American coach Shek Borkowski—who for five years coached Haiti's women's team to the point where they qualified this year for the U-20 WWC in France this summer and are poised to do the same to the U-17 WWC later this year in Uruguay as well (see below)—were undone when they deadlocked with the host Dominican Republic 0-0, who finished a close third in the group with 7 points, while Aruba had three points and tiny Anguilla finished with 0 points, with 1 goal in 4 matches versus 19 surrendered. Cuba did have a +19 to +15 goal difference over Puerto Rico, so even a narrow win over the Dominicans probably would not have been enough to prevent Cuba from advancing. In the final matches on May 13, Cuba used goals by Rachael Pelaez Ellis (18th, 66th minutes), Maria Perez Torres (33rd) and Francis Requilme Kellys (55th) for a 4-0 victory. In the other match to finish Group A play, the DR won their second match out of four with a 3-0 defeat of Aruba, with a double from Denny Vargas (5th, 36th minutes), while Andrea Rivas Pena added another in first half injury time.

In Group B, Jamaica's Reggae Girlz—traditionally one of the top women's sides in the region—squeaked through to the next round over emerging power Haiti. Both sides had 2 wins and 1 tie and their top of the table clash on May 13 in the last group game finished in a 2-2 tie in Haiti. Melchie Dumonay gave the home side an early lead in the 24th minute. Haiti doubled their lead in the 43rd minute through Sherly Jeudy but Jamaica immediately pulled one back a minute later through Trudi Carter. Khadijah Shaw (currently playing at the University of Tennessee in the States) gave the Reggae Girlz the crucial tying goal in the 66th minute, her eighth goal in three games in the tournament, after she was brought down by Kethna Louis in the penalty box and scored from the penalty spot.

Jamaica went through to the next round on goal difference (+16 from 18 goals for and 2 against for Jamaica versus +13 from 15 goals for and 2 against for Haiti). Jamaica's triumph came down to their matches against the other two Group B participants, the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe. The difference was Jamaica defeated Guadeloupe 13-0 while Haiti's advantage was 11-0; Jamaica defeated Martinique 3-0 compared to 2-0 for Haiti. Martinique defeated fellow French possession and neighbor Guadeloupe 3-0 to finish in third, with Guadeloupe bottom on 0 points. Forward Prisca Carin opened Martinique's account in the 5th minute, and that strike was followed by defender Johanne Guillou (53rd minute) and forward Nathaela Paulin (58th), who transferred to French mainland second division side FC Aurillac-Arpajon two years ago from Martinique club football with Racing Club St. Joseph, for the win over their neighbors in their final group match.

CONCACAF Women's U-17 WWC Qualifiers will resume in the U.S. next month

We reported last month that the 2018 CONCACAF Women's U-17 Championship, originally scheduled from April 19 to 29 in Managua, Nicaragua, was cancelled on April 22 after 6 matches due to civil unrest. CONCACAF has announced that the remaining games will be played at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida from June 6-12. In Group A, which played two matches, Haiti and Mexico are tied for first with 6 points (though Mexico has a much better goal difference of +15 to +5 for Haiti) so they will play for the Group A title; both sides have made the semifinals, so the third game between Puerto Rico and Nicaragua (both on 0 points) will not be held. In Group B, the U.S. and Canada have 3 points from their one match (with the U.S. holding a slightly better goal difference of +4 to +3) with Bermuda and Costa Rica both on 0 points. The semifinal winners and third place winner (between the two sides defeated in the semifinals) will advance to the 2018 U-17 WWC in Uruguay

Tim Grainey is a contributor to Tribal Football. His latest book Beyond Bend it Like Beckham on the global game of women's football. Get your copy today.

Follow Tim on Twitter: @TimGrainey

Tim Grainey
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Tim Grainey

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