This week, we examine the third and fourth matches of the Inaugural 2023-24 UEFA Women's Nations League from late last month. We also look at the second set of matches from CONCACAF's W Gold Cup Qualifiers.
UEFA Women's Nations League Review
League A Results
On October 27, Germany defeated Wales 5-1 in Sinsheim with Lea Schuller (25)—a 2023 WWC Finals team member—scoring a brace. This is Schuller's fourth season with Bayern Munich and she scored 14 league goals last season and 16 in each of the previous two seasons. Germany outshot Wales 35 to 4. Horst Hrubesch (72), a legendary former German international, was the interim head coach as current WNT head coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg has been on sick leave/vacation since the WWC.
She seemingly will not return but the DFB needs to make a decision and not prolong the uncertainty, particularly after a disastrous WWC Finals when the team was eliminated at the Group Stage as the two-time World Champions missed the knock-out stage for the first time in nine Finals. Hrubesch is well thought of and has coached the WNT on an interim basis five years ago after Steffi Jones left the job and he helped the team make the 2019 WWC Finals in France, winning seven games and tying one for his eight matches in charge. Some in Germany are calling for him to be named permanently.
Spain defeated Italy 1-0 in Salerno with Jenni Hermoso (recalled to the team after being left for the first two Nations League matches in order to "protect her" after the turmoil created when former federation president Luis Robales kissed her on the lips without her consent following the team's WWC Finals win in August--see more in our column last month: The Week in Women's Football: Examining further Spain chaos; Nations Cup review; the passing of Violeta Mitul - Tribal Football) scoring the winner in the 89th minute. She showed the federation and her overmatched interim head coach Montse Tome how vital she is to the team. In the second game on October 31, Spain blasted Switzerland 7-1—their second dominating win in less than three months after a 5-1 Round of 16 win in the WWC Finals—with braces from 2023 WWC Finals winners Alexia Putellas of Barcelona and Athenea Del Castillo of Real Madrid.
Sweden defeated Switzerland 1-0 in Gothenburg, with Magdalena Eriksson (30) scoring the winner in the 43rd minute on an assist by Kosovare Asllani (34). Eriksson is in her first season with Bayern Munich after transferring from Chelsea, where she played for six seasons, while Asllani has scored two goals in four matches for AC Milan in Italy in her second season with the club, after scoring 9 goals in 17 matches last season.
France stayed perfect in their group with a 2-1 away win over Norway, with captain and defender Wendie Renard scoring the winner in the 69th minute from Salma Bacha's assist (both are teammates at Olympique Lyon) from a corner kick. France led 9-4 on shots and 5-3 for shots on goal.
Denmark defeated Iceland in Reykjavik 1-0, with Amalie Vangsgaard (26), in her second season at Paris St. Germain, scoring 20 minutes from time.
England defeated Belgium 1-0 by the same score in Leicester with Lauren Hemp (23), in her sixth season with Manchester City, scoring the winner in the 13th minute. Fran Kirby of Chelsea returned from injury for the first time in over a year—having missed the WWC Finals this past summer—but England has to do better on their shot conversion (23 shot attempts with one goal) while Belgium had 12 shots; England also had 72% of the possession compared to 28% for Belgium.
Netherlands defeated Scotland 4-0 at home with Lineth Beerensteyn scoring a second half double. She is also doing well with her club side Juventus in Italy as, in her second season in Turin, she has five goals in five league games, including two braces. There was additional good news for the Netherlands in that Vivianne Miedema returned to the national team after missing 11 months in order to recover from an ACL injury, coming on for the last seven minutes. She had played the previous week for the first time since her injury in the WSL against Bristol City.
Austria bested Portugal 2-1 at home in Altach and then did the double by the same score four days later to take all six points on offer, which was a bit of a surprise as Portugal played in the WWC Finals this past summer, qualifying through the Intercontinental Playoffs early in 2023, while Austria lost to Scotland away (1-0 in extra time) in the first round of the UEFA playoffs for second place teams.
In the second matches on October 31, 2023, Sofie Bredgaard's (21) 36th minute goal ended up being the winner and she also assisted on the other goal for the Danish side (in the 28th minute by Amalie Vangsgaard (26) of PSG in France) to defeat Wales 2-1 at home. Bredgaard is in her second season with Rosengard in Sweden after three seasons with Linkoping. Jess Fishlock of OL Reign in the States—who have qualified for the 2023 NWSL Final against NJ/NY Gotham FC—kept things interesting with a goal in the last 20 minutes but it wasn't enough.
In a surprising and unexpected result, Sweden escaped with a 1-1 home tie and four points in the double games against Italy as Linda Sembrant (Juventus of Italy) headed an equalizer very late in added time from a Filippa Angeldal (Manchester City) free kick. Valentina Giacinti (29), who is in her second season with Roma and scored 13 goals in 25 games last season and 3 goals in 6 games thus far this season, opened the scoring in the 56th minute.
In the truly shocking result of the League A games thus far, Captain Tessa Wullaert scored a brace in a 3-2 win over England as Belgium moved ahead of the European champions into second, two points behind the Netherlands. Wullaert had already made it 2-2 just before half-time and then converted an 85th-minute penalty following a Georgia Stanway handball for the ultimate winner. Lucy Bronze (Barcelona) and Fran Kirby (Chelsea) scored for England, who need a win against the Netherlands in their next game on December 1 at Wembley Stadium to retain any hope of making the semifinals of the Nations League.
Netherlands defeated Scotland 1-0 away in Glasgow. On the hour mark Esmee Brugts (20), who is in her first season with Barcelona in Spain after three seasons at PSV Eindhoven at home cut inside and scored on a wonderful curling finish that bounced in off the post.
Germany defeated Iceland 2-0 in Reykjavik, as the home team could not upset the two-time World Champions like they did with a 3-2 win in Wiesbaden in 2017 during UEFA WWC Qualifiers for the Finals.
France and Norway played a scoreless deadlock in Reims.
League A Standings:
Group 1: Netherlands 9 points; Belgium 7; England 6; Scotland 1.
Group 2: France 10 points; Austria 7; Portugal 3; Norway 2.
Group 3: Denmark 12 points; Germany 9; Iceland 3; Wales 0.
Group 4: Spain 12 points; Sweden 7; Italy 4; Switzerland 0.
Undefeated France should make the semifinals from Group 2 despite the dropped points against Norway but Group 1 is likely to go to the final game, with Netherlands leading the chasing pack. Denmark in Group 3 and Spain in Group 4 have full points from four matches and are in the driver seats, but both have to play their respective groups' second place side—with Germany home to Denmark on December 1 and Spain hosting Sweden on December 4.
League B Results
On October 27, the Republic of Ireland defeated Albania 5-0 as Katie McCabe of Arsenal had an outstanding game with three goals while Kyra Carusa (San Diego Wave) added two—both from McCabe assists, one after the Irish Captain's 60 yard slalom. In the return on October 31 in Shkoder, Albania, the two teams were forced into the locker room for over an hour after a very heavy rain downpour created a waterlogged pitch. With two minutes left in the game, Denise O'Sullivan (North Carolina Courage) scored with Carusa assisting to give the Irish full points after four games.
With the win, the Irish clinched promotion to League A for the next cycle of the Nations League—the first League B team to do so—which will determine the qualifiers for the 2025 Women's EURO in Switzerland. Carusa and McCabe are tied with Ewa Pajor of Poland and Wolfsburg of Germany at the top of the League B scorers with four tallies each.
Finland did the double with a 3-0 win in Helsinki over Croatia and then won the return away in Sibenik (2-0) with Evelina Summanen (25), who is in her third season with Tottenham Hotspur of the WSL, scoring a brace within the first 11 minutes of the game.
On October 31, Milena Nikolic (31), who joined Basel of Switzerland this year and has 5 goals in 8 matches after four seasons at Leverkusen in Germany, scored a brace for Bosnia-Herzegovina in their 2-2 draw in Hradec Kralove with the Czech Republic. Bosnia-Herzegovina won the first game between the pair four days earlier at home in Zenica (1-0).
On October 27, Poland defeated Serbia 2-1 in Tychy. Four days later in Stara Pazova, Serbia's Dina Blagojevic (26) of Bayern Leverkusen scored early in the second half to offset a late first half goal by Natalia Padilla (21) for the visitors—she is in her first season with Cologne in Germany after playing last season with Servette in Geneva, where she scored 21 goals in 21 games.
In first game on October 27 in Gyor, Hungary won 3-2 on a Hanna Nemeth (25) goal in the 94th minute—currently with Werder Bremen in Germany—offsetting a late tying goal from Aston Villa's Simon Magill (29) from the penalty spot for the Irish. In the return on October 31, Northern Ireland and Hungary deadlocked 1-1 at Seaview Stadium in Belfast.
Other results included:
Greece 2-1 Ukraine
Romania 0-0 Slovakia
Belarus 1-1 Slovenia
Slovakia 1-0 Romania
Ukraine 1-0 Greece
Slovenia 0-0 Belarus
League B Standings:
Group 1: Republic of Ireland 12 points; Hungary 5; Northern Ireland 4; Albania 1.
Group 2: Finland 12 points; Slovakia 7; Croatia 3; Romania 1.
Group 3: Poland 10 points; Serbia 7; Ukraine 3; Greece 3.
Group 4: Bosnia-Herzegovina 8 points; Czech Republic 7 points; Slovenia 3; Belarus 2.
Finland, like the Irish, have 12 points from four games and are favored to wrap up the Group 2 title on November 30 at home against Romania. Poland leads Serbia in Group 3 by three points while Bosnia and Herzegovina and Czech Republic are neck-in-neck in Group 4, separated by only one point.
League C Results
On October 27 Kosovo defeated North Macedonia away (2-0) with Valentina Limani (26), who grew up in Germany, scoring the winner in the 20th minute; she has been in the Eintracht Frankfurt club (first and second tier team) for a decade. Valentina Metaj (19), who grew up in Sweden and plays for Bromolla in the Elitettan (second division), scored the second goal just before halftime. Four days later, in the return game, Kosovo won again (3-1) over North Macedonia as Ereleta Memeti (24) scored the winning goal in the 14th minute and added an assist. She was born in Germany and is in her second season with Hoffenheim in the Frauen Bundesliga (top tier).
Turkey blasted Luxembourg 4-0 away (it has been hard to understand why Turkey is in League C to begin with) and won promotion to League B with their 1-0 triumph over Luxembourg in the return leg, with Birgül Sadıkoğlu (23) getting her fifth League C goal. She has previously played with Zhytlobud-1 in Ukraine and is now with Fomget Genclik in Turkey and has scored in each of the four Nations League games so far in this inaugural tournament edition.
Malta shut out Andorra in their two matches by 5-0 and 3-0 scores. In the second game away, Malta completed the double with Haley Bugeja (19) of Inter Milan of Italy scoring all three goals within only eight minutes in the first half, after scoring two goals in the 5-0 first leg win. Bugeja (19) moved this summer from Orlando Pride of the NWSL to Inter Milan in Italy (see: The Week in Women's Football: World Cup finals review; What now for USA?; NWSL expansion - Tribal Football). She leads League C in scoring with eight goals, three ahead of Karlina Miksone (23) of Latvia and Birgul Sadikoglu of Turkey.
Cyprus defeated the Faroe Islands by a single goal in Torshavn on October 31, with Andri Violari (27) scoring in the 33rd minute—she is in her first season in Turkey with Ankara's Fomget Genclik and scored the winner in their 6-0 Qualifying Round 3rd place match with KFF Hajvalia of Kosovo. Last season she played with Famalicao in Portugal, scoring six goals in nine games. She won three league titles at home in the past with Apollon in 2013-14.2014-15 and 2015-16.
Latvia easily defeated Moldova 5-0 at home on October 27 with braces from Diana Suvitra (21), who has won four league titles at home with SFK Riga, and club teammate Anastasja Pluhovica (18). Latvia tied the return match (3-3) four days later in Chisinau with Karlina Miksone (23) scoring twice—once from the penalty spot. She has played with IBV in Iceland and FC Gintra of Lithuania before moving to Poland, to play first with Medyk Konin and is now with Czarni Sosnowiec in Poland. She has 13 goals in over 50 caps for Latvia.
On October 31, Azerbaijan defeated Montenegro 3-0 in Baku with Mana Mollayeva (25), who has played in Russia with Krasnador and Ryazan, scoring the winner in the 58th minute. The defender scored her first international goal earlier this year in a 2-0 home friendly against the United Arab Emirates. Four days earlier she scored the ultimate winner in Torshavn against the Faroe Islands in the 50th minute, while Sunniva Willemoes (19) scored a late consolation goal for the Faroes. Willemoes scored 13 goals in 21 games for HB this summer season at home and has 29 goals in 86 matches for the club in five seasons. She could be well positioned for a move to a club in Denmark or elsewhere in Scandinavia.
Estonia defeated Armenia 4-1 on October 27 and then 5-1 in the return with Lisette Tammik (25)—who played at Flora and won the last two Estonian Women's League titles and with Santa Teresa in Spain, who were then in the top tier—and Emma Treiberg (22) both scoring a brace in the second game.
Other matches included:
Lithuania 0-0 Georgia
Cyprus 0-2 Montenegro
Kazakhstan hosting Israel was postponed to November 23, with the return on November 25, to be held in a neutral country because of the Israel's War with Hamas.
Georgia 0-3 Lithuania
League C Standings:
Group 1: Malta 12 points; Latvia 7; Andorra 3; Moldova 1.
Group 2: Turkey 12 points; Luxembourg 4; Lithuania 4; Georgia 2;
Group 3: Azerbaijan 10 points; Cyprus 7; Montenegro 6; Faroe Islands 0.
Group 4: Estonia 7 points; Kazakhstan 4; Israel 3; Armenia 0.
Group 5: Kosovo 7 points; Bulgaria 4; North Macedonia 0.
Malta should be home and dry in Group 1 and could wrap up the group on December 1 when they play Moldova away. In the other three groups still at play for a winner, Azerbaijan (Group 3), Estonia (Group 4) and surprising Kosovo (Group 5) each have a three point lead heading into their last two matches at the end of November/early December.
CONCACAF W Gold Cup Qualifiers
We look at the third and fourth games (for most teams) from October's CONCACAF W Gold Cup Qualifiers.
League A Results
On October 25, Panama defeated visiting Jamaica 2-1 in Penonome, facing a different Jamaican side from the one that made the Round of 16 at this past summer's Women's World Cup in Australia/New Zealand. The Reggae Girlz senior players went on strike over pay and support conditions before the October matches so the Jamaica Football Federation was forced to essentially send their youth U-20 national team, with Ricshya Walker, who grew up in Philadelphia and is a sophomore at La Salle University, scoring for Jamaica. Panama's Lineth Cedeno (22), who plays at Sampdoria in Italy, scored the winner six minutes from time for the Canaleras.
In their second match on October 29 in Kingston, Jamaica bounced back for a 2-2 tie against Guatemala. Jamaica's goals came from Melissa Johnson (32)—who is in her second season in the Women's Championship in England with Charlton Athletic after also playing with Bristol City, Sheffield United, Aston Villa, Leicester City and Sheffield City FC—and Zoe Vidaurre (20), who is with the U-20's and was promoted to the senior team for these two games (see more below). For Guatemala's Chapines, their goals came from Aisha Solorzano (25), who joined Puebla in Mexico this year and played collegiately in the States at Southeastern University in Florida, and Leslie Ramirez (27), who was born in the U.S., played collegiately in the L.A. area and is now with Cruz Azul in Mexico City after time with Guadalajara in Mexico and ZFK Masinac in Serbia in 2021, where she scored seven goals in nine games. While at Guadalajara, Solorzano's ability to play for the team was questioned by some as the club has traditionally only allowed Mexicans to play (including their diaspora) but she was playing internationally with the Chapines, as one parent was Mexican and the other was Guatemalan. Guadalajara confirmed that she could play as she was Mexican by birth.
On October 26, Trinidad and Tobago's match at home to Mexico was postponed while Haiti blasted St. Kitts and Nevis 11-0 in Basseterre. Melchie Dumonay (20) of Olympique Lyonnaise scored five goals and Nerilia Mondesir (24), in her eighth season with Montpellier in France, added a hat trick. On October 30, 2023, Haiti shutout St. Kitts and Nevis again in a double digit win (13-0). Batcheba Louis (26)—in her second season with Fluery in France after two seasons with Issy—scored five goals, Dumonay added a hat trick and Mondesir had one goal and four assists. Ketna Louis (27) added a brace and one assist; she is in her first season with Montpellier in France after two seasons with Stade de Reims and one at Le Havre in 2020-21.
Puerto Rico's home match against Mexico that was originally set for October 30 was postponed to November 30.
On October 27 against Trinidad and Tobago, Jill Aguilera (Chicago Red Stars) scored the winner in the 54th minute in Puerto Rico's 2-1 win at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. Skylynn Rodriguez—who is in her junior season at Cal State-Los Angeles—scored in the 30th minute but Alexcia Ali (23), who plays with Club Sando in the T&T Women's League Football, tied it up for Trinidad and Tobago in the 49th minute. The return in Bayamon on Halloween was a scoreless draw.
The standoff between the Jamaican WNT players and the Jamaican Football Federation (JFF) follows the recent UEFA Nations League matches planned strike by Spain's WWC 2023 Winning side with their federation, focused more on player treatment issues and their now-banned Federation President Luis Rubiales' unwanted kiss of Jenni Hermoso at the WWC Final and other behaviors, though the Liga F women players also struck for one game over wage payment levels (see: The Week in Women's Football: Examining further Spain chaos; Nations Cup review; the passing of Violeta Mitul - Tribal Football). Canada's WNT has been in dispute with their federation this year over resources and even struck for one day ahead of a friendly in the U.S. in the spring (see: The Week in Women's Football: Canada Soccer controversy; exciting World Cup playoffs still need reform - Tribal Football).
The senior Jamaican players, including captain Allyson Swaby (AC Milan of Italy) and forward Khadija Shaw (Manchester City of the WSL), explained in a statement that they had not received their FIFA-mandated bonuses for their 2023 WWC games and were dissatisfied that they learned only through social media that Xavier Gilbert (on the national team staff and who coaches at Yallahs High School in the Southeast portion of the country) had replaced former coach Lorne Donaldson.
The player's statement said: "We have dealt with this lack of communication, poor organization, poor management, and delayed payments from the JFF time and time again… While this has been one of the hardest decisions we have had to make, we feel it is necessary to take such a drastic stance to put an end to the constant mistreatment we receive from the Jamaica Football Federation… For these reasons, we take our stance in solidarity with hope to end this cycle of mistreatment."
The JFF responded by not selecting any of the striking players until the contractual disputes had been settled, saying in a statement: "The JFF is uncomfortable with the response of the players and the non-attendance of the player representatives to a scheduled meeting today."
New Jamaican WNT head coach Xavier Gilbert took charge of the two national team matches in October 2023 and his contract was extended for the next two Gold Cup Qualifiers at home against Panama on November 29 and in Guatemala on December 3. Photo courtesy of Jamaican Football Federation.
These disputes over funding and support have been going on for years, with the Jamaican women's team mothballed from 2008 to 2016 because of a lack of funds. In recent years, Bob Marley's daughter, Cedella—based in Florida—has been a primary funding source. On the WWC bonus payments, JFF seems to be changing FIFA's rules on this issue as Dennis Chung, the JFF general secretary, told BBC Sport in a statement that his organization had written to the Reggae Girlz asking them to "provide an allocation" of how the prize money from the World Cup should be split among players.
Chung said that, when the JFF did not receive anything back, it decided to split the prize money "according to a formula we thought was fair to all" and that the funds have been "sent for processing".
FIFA had intended that each player would receive a set amount depending on what stage of the tournament that the team finished at. Questions for Chung have to include how did the JFF—never known for their transparency on financial matters with their players—develop their formula and just how many months will it take to process the payments?
The players' timing for their strike was actually well thought through as, after losing out on the region's second Olympic Games Finals spot next summer in Paris to Canada in September, these regional championship matches—while competitive—should see Jamaica maintain their League 1 status, so it shouldn't affect their future paths to major tournaments drastically, unless the JFF continues to not call them in. If that happens, then all bets could be off and we would have to re-assess the future ramifications of this strike.
The JFF called up a young side for the October games, including some of their U-20 squad. Three players: Destiny Powell, Chris-Ann Chambers and Shaniel Buckley, were recalled from the Pan Am team now in Chile. Only six of the 23 players called up for the two matches had previously represented the national team at senior level, according to the Jamaica Gleaner. For the emergency side, nine came from the U.S., four from Jamaica, two from Canada and a pair from England and one each from Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Georgia, Hungary and Portugal.
REGGAE GIRLZ OCTOBER CAMP ROSTER 2023
Dinamo Sokhumi (Georgia)
Multnomah University (USA)
University of Maryland (USA)
George Mason University (USA)
University of Maine at Fort Kent
SCU Torreense (Portugal)
SK Slavia Praha Zeny
London City Lionesses
LaSalle University (USA)
Viktoria Haladas (Hungary)
William Carey University (USA)
Hill College (USA)
Rodez AF (France)
Frazsiers Whip (Jamaica)
Seaward County (USA)
Frazsiers Whip (Jamaica)
Charlton Athletic Women FC
Seneca College (Canada)
Woodbridge Strikers (Canada)
George Mason University (USA)
Reinas Academy (Jamaica)
League A (nine top-ranked teams divided into three groups of three)
Group A: Mexico 6 points; Puerto Rico 4; Trinidad and Tobago 1. Mexico has played one game fewer (two) than their opponents (three each).
Group B: Panama 6 points; Guatemala 4; Jamaica 1. Jamaica has only played two games to date, compared with three for their opponents.
Group C: Haiti 9 points; Costa Rica 3; Saint Kitts and Nevis 0. Costa Rica has only played two games, compared with three for their opponents.
League B Results
On October 25, Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda played to a scoreless deadlock at home in Gros Islet and then won away 2-1 in the return on October 29, with Starr Humphries (19) scoring both goals for Dominica, while Nicelle Drew of Grenades FC scored an early goal for Antigua.
Martinique defeated Nicaragua 1-0 at home on October 25 with Ludmila Gaydu (20), who plays in Martinique with ASC Emulation, scoring the only goal for the French Territory. In the return four days later, Nicaragua and Martinique tied 1-1 as midfielder Maeva Solomon (26), who has played in France with Olympique Marseille and Paris St. Germain, scored for Martinique just before halftime, after midfielder Yessenia Flores (24) scored the opening goal in the 34th minute; she played last year with Deportivo Saprissa in Costa Rica.
Also on October 25, Guyana defeated Surinam 1-0 away with Shanice Alfred (22) scoring the winner in the 41st minute. Alfred is from Airdrie, Alberta and played with Canada at the U-17 level before agreeing to play with Guyana, where many of their diaspora players come from. She now attends Seneca College in Toronto. Her parents are from Guyana and St. Lucia and she hopes to play professionally next year.
In the return match on October 29, Guyana again defeated Surinam 1-0 with Otesha Charles (30), who has played in England since 2016 and is currently with Gillingham, scoring the only goal in the 24th minute. Sydney Cummings, who was raised in the U.S., played at Brown and Georgetown Universities, last winter for Western United in Australia and signed with Glasgow Celtic in September, was very influential in defense in both games, with one assist.
On October 27, Dominican Republic defeated St. Vincent and the Grenadines 8-0 on the road in Kingstown as Jasmin Jackson (18), who grew up in Virginia and is a freshman at Virginia Commonwealth University, scored a hat-trick in her first senior international match. In the return four days later, DR bested St. Vincent 4-0 at the Felix Sanchez Olympic Stadium in Santo Domingo. Jazmin Jackson put the home side in the lead in the 2nd minute. Lucia Marte (26), in her first season with Watford in England after two seasons with Real Betis in Spain where she was born—she began her career in 2013 as a youth with Tottenham Hotspur—extended the lead in the 18th minute on a header. Jaylen Vallecillo (17), who plays in New York State and was born in Honduras, scored DR's third goal from a 40th minute header. Gabriella Cuevas (30), who played at the University of Connecticut and Monmouth University and is now playing at UKS Lodz in Poland after time playing professionally in Finland and Israel, scored a fourth goal on the hour mark. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines goalkeeper Altica Benn (25) of the Lady Heat stopped a Vanessa Kara (26) penalty in the 64th minute
Also on October 27, Barbados tied Bermuda 1-1 in Bridgetown, Barbados. Aaliyah Nolan (26), who plays with Leeds in England's Women's National League—Division One (fourth tier), who are currently tied for third with Hull City on 16 points from nine games with a 5-1-3 W-D-L record, gave Bermuda the lead in the 24th minute while Adrienne Forde (25) tied up the match for Barbados just after the start of the second half.
On October 31, Bermuda won the return 4-2 against Barbados at the National Sports Center in Devonshire Parish, Bermuda. Jaden Masters (20), who plays at the University of Houston and Victoria Davis (23—Somerset CC) scored within the first 10 minutes; Aaliyah Nolan added a third goal in the 12th minute, which was the ultimate winner. Ashanee Thompson (26), who plays for the University of West Indies Blackbirds in St. Michael, scored twice for Barbados by the end of the first half, in the 34th minute and then five minutes into first half injury time. A second yellow card for Khyla Brangman (28—Pembrooke Hamilton) in the 47th minute resulted in Bermuda going down to 10 players early for the rest of the game. Nolan scored again in the 74th minute. Bermuda's goalkeeper Zakhari Turner (20), of River City FC in the U.K., had five saves, including a couple late in the game to preserve the win.
On October 26, El Salvador defeated Honduras 1-0 in Tegucigalpa with Danielle Fuentes (23), who was born in the U.S. and now plays with Necaxa of Mexico, scoring in the 5th minute. El Salvador completed the double three days later with a 5-0 win in San Salvador. Danya Gutierrez (23), who plays with United City FC, who were UPSL Champions in 2021 and then the club moved to the South West Premier League and won a second consecutive title—part of the NISA (National Independent Soccer Association—scored the winner in the 12th minute and then Danielle Fuentes tallied in the 25th minute and again in the 56th minute, while Samaria Gomez (21) of Bnot Netanya of Israel, and Abilgail Lopez (22), who plays with Real Esteli of Nicaragua, added single tallies.
League B Standings
Group A: Guyana 9 points; Surinam 6; Antigua and Barbuda 4; Dominica 4.
Group B: El Salvador 12 points; Honduras 4; Martinique 4; Nicaragua 2.
Group C: Bermuda 10 points; Dominican Republic 9; Barbados 4; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 0.
In Group A, Guyana's last two games are against A&B and Dominica; they should qualify for the next round as group winners.
In Group B, El Salvador have advanced with two games to play after a strong run of games in the fall.
League C Results
On October 26, Belize shutout Turks and Caicos 6-0, with Mikhaila Bowden (30)—who grew up in the States, played at Boise State University in Idaho and State league football in Australia—scoring a brace, including the winning goal in the 11th minute. Belize won the return leg 3-0 in Belmopan on October 30 with Kaite Jones (21) scoring twice. Jones plays at Northern Oklahoma Junior College and Motlow State Community College in Tennessee and had played at home with Rumberas and for the Orange Walk Gladiators. In 2022, in the National Amateur Women's League B, she played with Corozal Bay City and finished second in the league with 14 goals, while her club and U-20 international teammate Anahie Blanco led the league with 20 goals.
On October 26 in the Dutch island neighbors derby, Bonaire defeated Aruba 3-1 at home in Rincon, with Bibi Wijnschenk (22) scoring twice in the first half—both times from the penalty spot—to help Bonaire to their first ever senior WNT victory. Vanessa Susanna scored the only goal for Aruba, also from the penalty spot. Bonaire defended their 2-1 lead in the second half when they were playing with only ten women. In the return on October 30, Aruba defeated Bonaire 5-0 with two goals from Vanessa Susanna (26), who was born in the Netherlands and is in her second season with ADO Den Haag; she also played for a season with Hellas Verona in Italy in 2020/21 and London City Lions in 2019-20. She had 10 goals in 16 games with Den Haag last season and 2 goals in 4 goals so far this season.
On October 31, Cuba defeated Guadeloupe 3-0, with all the goals coming in the first half; Cecil Aldana (20) scored the winner in the ninth minute and a second goal just before the halftime break; she has also played for Cuba's U-20 side. Four days earlier in St. Anne, Guadeloupe, Cuba won 2-0 with both goals coming in the first half.
Other Results included:
Grenada 4 US Virgin Islands 0
Cayman Islands 0 Curacao 2
Sint Maarten vs St. Luica was postponed
U.S. Virgin Islands 0 vs. Bahamas 0
St. Lucia vs. Sint Maarten was postponed
Curacao 5 vs. Anguilla 2
League C Standings
Group A: Belize 12 points; Aruba 6; Bonaire 4; Turks and Caicos Islands 1.
Group B: Cuba 6 points; Saint Lucia 3 points; Guadeloupe 0; St. Maarten 0.
Group C: Grenada 9 points; US Virgin Islands 1; Bahamas 1.
Group D; Curacao 6; Anguilla 4 points; Cayman Islands 1.
Belize in Group A and Grenada in Group C are bound for the next round, while Group B and Group D are still up for grabs.
Tim Grainey is a contributor to Tribal Football. His latest book Beyond Bend it Like Beckham is on the global game of women's football. Get your copy today.
Follow Tim on Twitter: @TimGrainey