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Canada Soccer – Canada Soccer’s Women’s U-17 team will now play for third place at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Uruguay 2018 after falling 0:1 to Mexico in the Semi-final at Estadio Charrúa in Montevideo. Canada will face New Zealand in the Match for Third Place on Saturday 1 December at 16:00 local (14:00 ET/11:00 PT) LIVE on TSN1 and RDS2 in Canada.
“I’m very proud of this team. I think they’re wonderful young women. Today wasn’t their day. Mexico deserved the win. I think we lost and they’ll learn from it and I think many of them will play for Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team one day,” said Head Coach Rhian Wilkinson.  “I’ve said the whole way that we’re 21 strong, I believe in this team.
“We’re here for a podium finish now. It’s about getting over this. There were moments where we saw who they really are and moments where I don’t think they played to the best of their ability.  However, they rose to the challenge and pushed to the end.”
In the opening 20 minutes, Canada and Mexico exchanged bouts of possession with Mexico going over the bar at 11’ and Canada repeating the feat in the 20’ minute through a Teni Akindoju shot.
In the 24’ Mexico’s pressure forced Maya Antoine to work to recover the ball from behind in the 18-yard box. Her challenge brought down the Mexican player in the box leading to a yellow card and a penalty kick which Nicole Perez converted to give Mexico a 1:0 lead in the 25’.
Canada immediately responded and applied pressure with Andersen Williams nearly getting a shot off before being tackled in the 18-yard box, and a Caitlin Shaw corner that was cleared by Mexico.  A pair of Lara Kazandjian corner kicks provided Canada with another opportunity in the 34’ but Léonie Portelance drove the deflected second corner over the bar.
Huitema came close to scoring the equalizer in the 39’, however, the assistant referee called a foul on Teni Akindoju who collided with the last defender back to spring Huitema.  In the 42’, Jayde Riviere stepped forward and found the space to put a cross into the Mexican 18, but the ball bounced and went wide of the Mexican goal.

Riviere and Huitema combined on the right wing just before half to force a desperate clearance from Mexico out of touch for a throw, but the referee blew the halftime whistle as the ball was thrown into play and the teams went to the dressing room with Canada down a goal. 
Mexico had the first chance of the second half. A 25-yard shot went off the outside of Karpenko’s goal and away from danger in the 50’. For much of the second half, though, Mexico were happy to stay compact while Canada worked to play more direct than in the first half and playing with the lead, Mexico were able to keep Canada from registering a shot on target. Jordyn Huitema took a Wayny Balata pass and tried a long rage effort in the 83’, but it was over the bar. 
Karpenko made a last-minute save and Balata followed up with a block as Mexico found space when Canada pressed hard in the last 10 minutes and five minutes of added time. Canada, however, were unable to equalize and will face New Zealand in the Match for Third Place.
Both Canada and New Zealand are fighting for their first-ever podium finish at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. Since 2008, Canada have two wins, one draw, and one loss in all competitions at the women’s youth level against New Zealand, including a 1:0 victory in the inaugural FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup New Zealand 2008. The two sides most recently faced each other in a 7 November 2018 friendly in Los Cespedes, with New Zealand winning 2:1 in a pre-tournament exhibition.
“New Zealand have a ton of heart,” Wilkinson said. “They are a great team and we better be ready, we’ve got to turn this around quickly.”
Despite the Semi-final loss, Canada will finish with its best showing in the competition. In FIFA youth competitions, Canada previously won silver at the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship Canada 2002.
Canada has placed in the top ten participating nations in each edition of the tournament. Canada had previously reached a highest position of seventh in New Zealand 2008 and Azerbaijan 2012.  Canada placed tenth at Trinidad and Tobago 2010, eighth at Costa Rica 2014, and ninth in Jordan 2016.
Canada’s starting line-up against Mexico featured Anna Karpenko in goal, Jayde Riviere at right back, Maya Antoine and Ariel Young at centre back, and Léonie Portelance at left back, Caitlin Shaw, Lara Kazandjian, and Sonia Walk at midfield, and Jordyn Huitema, Teni Akindoju, and Andersen Williams up front. In the second half, coach Rhian Wilkinson replaced Akindoju with Kaila Novak (46’), Walk with Wayny Balata (46’), and Williams with Jessica De Filippo (75’).
Canada marks the 10-year anniversary of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup as one of only six nations to have qualified for every edition since it was launched in 2008, alongside Germany, Ghana, Japan, New Zealand and Korea DPR.
FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Uruguay 2018

  • The official slogan for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup is Same Game Same Emotion. (A slogan to unite the generations).
  • The tournament’s four groups are Group A: Uruguay, Ghana, New Zealand, Finland; Group B: Mexico, South Africa, Brazil, Japan; Group C: USA, Cameroon, Korea DPR, Germany; and, Group D: Korea Republic, Spain, Canada, Colombia.
  • A total of 32 matches, across four groups containing 16 teams, will be played to decide the winner of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Uruguay 2018.
  • Korea DPR are the reigning champions of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and the tournament’s most successful competitor with two titles (2008, 2016).  Japan (2014), South Korea (2010), and France (2012) have also raised the coveted youth trophy as the world’s top U-17 women’s team.   Korea DPR was also the runner-up in 2012 and Japan was the runner-up in both 2010 and 2016.  
  • Spain, whom Canada played in its final group stage match, were runners-up in 2014 and third place winners in 2010 and 2016.
  • A total of 32 nations have competed in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup since it started in 2008.

Background – Canada Soccer Women’s U-17 National Team

  • Canada Soccer’s Roster for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Uruguay 2018:
  • The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Uruguay 2018 is Canada’s sixth appearance in the penultimate competition for players born before 2004. Canada has placed in the top ten participating nations in each edition of the tournament reaching its highest position of seventh in New Zealand 2008 and Azerbaijan 2012.  Canada placed tenth at Trinidad and Tobago 2010, eighth at Costa Rica 2014, and ninth in Jordan 2016, with a historical total of six wins, six draws and six losses.
  • Canadians registered 14 goals at the competition prior to 2018, with Marie Levasseur topping the goal-scoring list with four in 2014.
  • Canada qualified for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Uruguay 2018 by capturing third place at the Concacaf U-17 Women’s Championship earlier this year.
  • Canada has twice before placed third in the Concacaf qualifier for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, in Trinidad and Tobago 2008 and Grenada 2016.  Canada won the qualifier in Costa Rica 2010 and placed second in both Jamaica 2013 and Grenada 2016.  In total, Canada has 17 wins, two draws and six losses in qualification campaigns for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cups.

Following Canada’s successful hosting of the inaugural FIFA women’s youth tournament, the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in 2002, FIFA began making plans to hold both the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup to match the youth competition format for men.  Notably, Canada Soccer Women’s National Team Captain Christine Sinclair won the golden boot for most goals at the 2002 tournament as Canada placed runners-up to the USA and launching a rivalry that thrives today.
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 the 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 are viewed as staging posts to assess development and allow for the development of the Women’s EXCEL Team Playing Model and tournament processes and expertise which will ultimately prepare players to progress up the system.
Additionally, the most talented U-14 to U-18 players are offered a specialised daily training environment through the Regional EXCEL Program, which deliver 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 Women’s National Team
Canada is two-time Olympic bronze medal winners (2012 and 2016) and two-time Concacaf champions (1998 and 2010). In all, Canada has participated in six consecutive editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup (1995 to 2015) and three successive editions of the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament (2008 to 2016). At Rio 2016, Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team were the first Canadian Olympic team to win back-to-back medals at a summer Olympic Games in more than a century and the only FIFA Member Association to repeat on the podium.

Canada will compete for an seventh FIFA Women’s World Cup in France next year. The draw to determine the group stage opponents takes place 8 December in Paris, France.
About Canada Soccer
Canada Soccer, in partnership with its membership and its partners, provides leadership in the pursuit of excellence in soccer, both at the national and international levels. Canada Soccer not only strives to lead Canada to victory, but also encourages Canadians to a life-long passion for soccer. For more details on Canada Soccer, visit the official website at

Brad Fougere
Corporate Communications | Gestionnaire, Communications corporatives
m. +1 613.299.1587

Richard Scott
Men’s National Teams Program | Programme de l’équipe nationale masculine
m. +1 613.818.0305

Carrie Croft
Women’s National Teams Program | Programme de l’équipe nationale féminine
m. +1 613.406.4986