Canada qualifies for women’s U-20 semifinal

Jenna Richardson

The Canadian team left it late, but got its second win in two tries at the CONCACAF women’s U-20 Championship in Panama.

Oregon State University’s Jenna Richardson scored in the 76th minute, and Catherine Charron-Delage, the Laval Cometes’ teen who scored twice in the opening win over Haiti, put the game out of reach. Final score, Canada 2, Jamaica 0.

Both goals were set up through the outstanding vision of Christine Exeter. In both situations, she had the ball in the penalty area, but instead of trying to beat defenders or shoot, she placed perfect drop passes for the shooters to run on to.

The win guarantees Canada a spot in the semifinals of the tournament. The top three teams qualify for the U-20 Women’s World Cup, to be held in Japan.

But, there is more work to be done for the Canadians. In order to avoid meeting the United States in the semifinals, Canada has to win Group A over Mexico. Both teams have already qualified for the semis. Both have six points after two games. But Mexico, thanks to a 10-0 win over Haiti (the Canadians, ahem, “only” beat the Haitians 5-0) is well ahead on goal difference. So, Canada’s game Monday against Mexico is massive. With a draw or a loss, Canada finishes second in Group A and faces the Americans.

The winners of the semifinal matches are guaranteed tickets to Japan. And, the losers of the semis face off in a key third-place match, with the winner getting the last World Cup slot assigned to the region.

RELATED:
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About Steven Sandor

I'm currently the colour commentator for FC Edmonton broadcasts on Sportsnet, NASL.com and TEAM 1260. I've covered the Toronto FC beat for four years, worked for the Edmonton Aviators of the USL for a season, covered the Edmonton Drillers of the NPSL and started covering Canadian World Cup qualifiers in 1996. I've covered the CONCACAF Champions League and the U-20 World Cup. I'm passionate about soccer in North America.