Canada to face Haiti on Sunday in must-win match to secure FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup berth 26 January 2018
Canada Soccer – Canada will face Haiti on Sunday in a must-win match to secure a spot at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 after drawing Mexico 1:1 but falling 4:3 on penalty kicks in the Semi-Final match of the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship in Trinidad and Tobago. Mexico qualified for France 2018 with the win, and the USA has also qualified after beating Haiti 3:0 in penalty kicks in their Semi-Final earlier today. The 2018 edition of the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship is the first time both teams have qualified through the Semi-Final on penalty kicks.
Mexico struck first scoring off a set play just outside Canada’s box in the 34th minute. Canada rallied and tied it up 1:1 in the 80th minute on a Huitema cross tapped in by Captain Gabby Carle. Canada’s keeper Rylee Foster stood on her head in the last few minutes of the game, making two big saves before stopping a penalty kick in extra time.
The semi-final went straight to a penalty shoot-out without an overtime period. Canada and Mexico both scored on the first two shots, Canada scored on the third and Mexico went wide to make it 3-2, but Mexico’s keeper earned her player of the match honours by saving Canada’s next two shots, while her team scored on both their efforts to give Mexico the 4:3 win.
“We are disappointed in the loss and particularly the nature of penalty kicks, but this group has shown incredible resilience and determination throughout the tournament, so I am confident we will rally to the task ahead on Sunday,” said Bev Priestman, Canada Soccer Women’s U-20 Head Coach and Women’s National EXCEL Director U-15-U-23. “Our goal coming into this tournament was to qualify for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, so all of our energy is focused on that and coming out on top against Haiti on Sunday. We’ve had the opportunity to play Haiti in the group stage and we know their strengths, so we are prepared for the challenge, but we are also prepared to put everything on the line to earn our spot in France.”
Canada’s match against Haiti will take place Sunday, 28 January at 16:00 local (15:00 ET/12:00 PT) available in Canada LIVE via CONCACAF at https://www.youtube.com/concacaf.
Canada Soccer Roster: CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship Trinidad & Tobago 2018
About Canada Soccer’s Women’s National EXCEL Program
Canada Soccer Women’s National EXCEL Program brings together the best with the best at the national youth level, throughout each year. Operating across the U-14 to U-20 age groups, the program is designed to deliver an aligned talent structure and system that progresses more top players to Canada’s Women’s National Team. Major competitions which are viewed as staging posts to assess development, allows for the development of the Women’s EXCEL Team Playing Model and tournament processes and expertise, ultimately preparing players for when they do progress up the system.
Additionally, the most talented U14 to U18 players are offered a specialised daily training environment through the Regional EXCEL Program, which is delivers Canada Soccer’s national curriculum year-round through a two tiered talent system, with three Super Centres streamlining Canada’s National EXCEL Players into training environments in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec from smaller provincial licenced Centres.
Canada Soccer’s EXCEL System has already produced eight Women’s National Team players, and Olympic bronze medalists in Kadeisha Buchanan, Ashley Lawrence, Jessie Fleming, Rebecca Quinn, Janine Beckie, Shelina Zadorsky, Deanne Rose, and Gabrielle Carle, three of whom are still eligible for youth competition.
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