Canada books spot at the women’s U-17 World Cup

Valerie Sanderson PHOTO: CANADA SOCCER

Canada will be represented at the U-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan.

The Canadian teams wrapped up the berth Thursday, as a goal from Valerie Sanderson was all that was needed to beat Mexico 1-0 in a semifinal of the CONCACAF of the U-17 Women’s Chamionship.

CONCACAF sends three teams to the World Cup; both finalists and the winner of the regional consolation game. So, that format made the semifinals de facto one-game World Cup qualifiers

Sanderson, who scored three goals against Guatemala in Canada’s final group stage game, pounced on a rebound off a shot from Summer Clarke early in the first half. That marker proved to be enough.

Mexico had some decent chances early in the second half, with Michelle Gonzalez’s long-range shot forcing Canadian keeper Kallen Sheridan into a fingertip save. But as the half went on, Canada took control of the game, and was more concerned about keeping the Mexicans out rather than worrying too much about the second goal.

Canada, the defending CONCACAF champs, will face the Americans in the final. The U.S. beat Panama 7-0 in the other semifinal. As a comparison, Canada beat the Panamanians — who should be easy marks for the Mexicans in the consolation game — by a 6-0 count in the group stage.

The final goes Saturday.

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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.