The Canadian women were leading 1-0 until the 79th minute. Then, the Americans rallied with two late goals and took the final of the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship by a 2-1 count.
Just as we saw with the senior women’s team and Olympic qualifying, the loss came after the teams had their big moments in the semifinals. Both Canada and the United States had already punched their tickets for this year’s Women’s U-20 World Cup in Japan.
Canada got off to a hopeful start in Panama. Five minutes into the match, Jenna Richardson pounced on an awful lateral pass attempt made across the American backline. She blew by the defenders, ran into the box and unleashed a low drive into the corner of the net.
Neither the Canadians or Americans had allowed a goal going into the final.
And while it took Canada just five minutes to break the American resistance, the U.S. got the last laughs.
In the 79th minutes Maya Hayes, who finished as the tournament’s second leading scorer with five tallies, spun and scored after the Americans had kept coming at Canada in waves. And, the Americans didn’t let the game get to extra time.
Chioma Ubogagu scored after a scramble in the Canadian penalty area to win the game for the Americans.
Canada held up bravely under waves of American pressure. But you can’t expect to protect a 1-0 lead when you are outshot 29-5 and give up 15 corner kicks, as Little Big Red did on Sunday.
But, with Canada’s goal for the tournament — qualifying for the World Cup — already accomplished, this was a game that was more about seeing how our national team would hold up against one of the countries that will be favoured to win it all in Japan.
Mission accomplished: Canadians qualify for U-20 Women’s World Cup (CLICK)
Canada qualifies for women’s U-20 semifinal (CLICK)