The U-20 women's team from the Dominican Republic busted an unlikely record on 23 September when they thrashed the British Virgin Islands by an astonishing 25 goals to nil.
The margin of victory is now the most lopsided in any FIFA-sanctioned women's game to date, eclipsing the prior record of 24-0 set by Japan's under-19 team when they thumped Malaysia on 31 May 2004.
Though close, the result is not the biggest in FIFA history if one takes into account all categories. Australia's senior men's national team famously beat American Samoa 31-0 in FIFA World Cup qualifying in 2001. Also, the Aussie U-17 side nearly repeated the dose with a 30-0 drubbing of the same hard-luck Samoans (u-17) in 2000 and more recently, in 2005, they trounced Tonga 26-0. There have also been several more lopsided results in the world of five-a-side futsal including a 31-0 mauling of Moldova by Russia in a Futsal World Championship qualifier in 1995, a 29-2 result by Brazil over Guatemala in 2000 and a 27-1 win for China PR over Guam in 2004.
In a country where baseball greedily dominates the back pages and football is relegated largely to the realm of the inconsequential, the Dominican players and their coach are hoping that the victory can help raise the profile of the beautiful game in general and the women's version in particular on the Caribbean island.
A moment for Dominican footballOsama Valerio led the attack for the Dominicans on the day with a masterful record of her own. Her ten goals scored before a modest home crowd in Santo Domingo is bound to stand up for quite some time indeed. Oliva Santa scored four times and Jennifer Uribe had three tallies on the day. Ana Frenda Frias and Angelica Cruz each bagged two goals, while Raynela Peralta, Eleniza Pichardo and Leandra Sanchez, each added one in the historic victory.
The British Virgin Islands - a tiny overseas territory of the UK - went on to suffer an aggregate 48-0 trouncing over their three matches in the pre-qualifying tournament for the U-20 Women's World Championship, thus establishing themselves even further as a side with a long way to go on the fringes of an increasingly competitive CONCACAF confederation.
"The tournament was played at an extremely high level," British Virgin Islands head coach Avonell 'Clarky' Morton told the Virgin Island Daily News. "In comparison to us, they (Dominican Republic) played with the skill of men, kicked like men and controlled the ball like men. We were not prepared, but it will stand as a hard but important lesson for us."
Though the result must surely have fuelled the Dominican players' dreams of a first-ever spot in a FIFA finals - the FIFA U-20 Women's World Championship scheduled for 2006 in Russia - their hopes were dashed only two days later as they went tumbling cruelly out of the competition.
The top-of-table grudge match on25 September saw the Dominicans go out at the final hurdle - but not without putting up their fair share of scrap and resistance on the day. The Haitians required a last-minute winner in stoppage time from Jesula to seal the night after Lopez had equalised her early opener. The Dominicans' goal was the first conceded by Haiti in the competition in Santo Domingo.
Despite seeing rivals Haiti qualify for the final Caribbean competition in T&T in November, hosts Dominican Republic did themselves proud and made a bit of history in the process.