Canada’s U-17s finish a good week for women’s program by qualifying for World Cup

Jordan_2017A 4-2 win for the U-17s over Haiti in the third-place game of the CONCACAF Championships wrapped up what could be called a banner week for Canadian women’s soccer.

With Sunday’s victory, Canada secured the third and final CONCACAF slot in the upcoming U-17 Women’s World Cup, to be played in Jordan. As most 4-2 games go, there wasn’t any scoring until the 55th minute (!) — when sub Lauren Raimondo scored the first of her two on the day. Vital Kats and Shana Flynn got the other markers for Canada, who built a 4-0 lead before Haiti’s one-woman gang, Nerilia Mondesir, scored a late brace.

For the Canadians, the win helps soothe the sting of the 5-0 blasting they received from the Americans in the semis. It would be easy to obsess about a 5-0 thrashing but, in truth, at the U17 level, it’s a lot harder to read into extreme score lines. We have to remember that, for a lot of players, this will be one of their first real tastes of international competition, and we can see some rapid swings in a team’s form.

The Canadians lost 2-1 to Haiti in the round robin — a result which forced them into that semifinal against the Americans — but rebounded well, outshooting the Haitians 24-6 in the third-place match.

PPadThe11ca2In the end, success at the CONCACAF U-17 Championships is defined by qualifying for the World Cup, not by winning the tournament. And that’s what Canada did.

The win comes days after Canada’s senior women’s team clinched top spot at the Algarve Cup with a 2-1 win over Brazil. Despite losing their opening game of the tournament to Denmark, Canada came back with three straight wins, allowing just Cristiane’s injury-time consolation marker in the final. Shelina Zadorsky’s backheel-off-a-corner-into-the-turf-and-then-bouncing-up-into-the-top-corner-just-like-we-drew-it-up marker got the Canadians the lead, and Janine Beckie provided the insurance when she pounced on a mishit pass from the Brazilians and went alone on goal.


About Steven Sandor

I'm currently the colour commentator for FC Edmonton broadcasts on Sportsnet, 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.