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.