Thanks to a 28th minute goal from Vanessa Legault-Cordisco and some stellar netminding from keeper Sabrina D’Angelo, Canada beat Mexico 1-0 Monday at the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship. Canada entered the game knowing it needed a win, not a draw, in order to upend Mexico as the winner of Group A.
Remember that Mexico had a much better goal difference than Canada entering the game, thanks to a 10-0 win over Haiti. Canada only beat the Haitians by a 5-0 scoreline.
Winning the group was key; with the U.S. favoured to win the other group, the heavy CONCACAF favourite is likely to play the second-place finisher from Group A in the semis. Now, that team will be Mexico, not Canada. The Canadians will likely get the Panamanians in the other semifinal, barring an unforeseen result in Tuesday’s Group B finale between the hosts and the Americans.
The winners of each semifinal are guaranteed spots in the U-20 World Cup. The third CONCACAF slot would go to the winner of the third-place game.
So, while playing the host Panamanians isn’t easy, it’s a better fate than having to play the Americans.
Legault-Cordisco got the deciding goal after teammate Christabel Oduro flicked on a free kick from Shelina Zadorsky into her path.
But D’Angelo was called in to make some key saves late in the second half. Had Mexico levelled the score, it would have been enough to give it the group over Canada. So, D’Angelo, by protecting the slimmest of leads, was able to increase Canada’s odds of making it to Japan.