Canada w17 takes positive first step on road to the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Jordan 2016
March 3, 2016
Canada earned a full three points with a 3:0 win over Guatemala on the opening day of the 2016 CONCACAF Women's Under-17 Championship. Jayde Riviere, Sarah Stratigakis and Vital Kats were the goal scorers in the Canadian victory.
"We just went up against players that were competing on Guatemala's Women's National Team during Olympic Qualifiers," said Bev Priestman, Canada Soccer's Women's National U-17 Coach. "We believe there are some positives to draw from this performance, while it was a bit frustrating at times, we are happy with the chances that we created, although we will want to put the ball in the back of the net more often."
Canada are in second place in the group after the first day, equal with three points, but second on goal difference. Group leaders Haiti won 13:0 over Grenada. Canada's four-nation group continues with matches on 5 March (Canada faces hosts Grenada) and 7 March (Canada faces Haiti).
"We are looking forward to the second match, to build on what we saw tonight, and to reinforce certain things and to really take advantage of our chances," said Priestman.
From the eight-nation CONCACAF Women's Under-17 Championship, the top four will advance to the knock out round, with the semi-finals on 11 March and the match for 3rd place and Grand Final on 13 March. The top three CONCACAF teams will qualify for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016.
Canada are four-time CONCACAF women's youth champions, twice at the U-20 level and once each at the U-17 and U-15 levels. Canada have participated in all four FIFA U-17 Women's World Cups since the biennial tournament was initiated in 2008, including three trips to the quarter-final phase.
Between 2014 and 2015, Canada were the only nation in the world to finish top-8 in three FIFA women's competitions (sixth place at the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015, sixth place at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Canada 2014, and eighth place at the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Costa Rica 2014).
Canada's experience told on Thursday night, as captain Sarah Stratigakis scored a goal and provided an assist as they ran out 3:0 winners. An opening goal from Jayde Riviere in seventh minute, Stratigakis' in the 35th, and substitute Vital Kats in the 64th, sealed the deal as Canada comfortably won the opening game in this year's 2016 CONCACAF Women's Under-17 Championship.
Goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx, with the help of her back line, posted the clean sheet in the 3 March opener at Grenada Athletic Stadium in St. George's, Grenada.
Guatemala's deep line struggled to upset the rhythmn of the Canadian players, who controlled the ball and dictated the tempo of the game throughout. The Guatemalan women mustered three shots all game, only one of them on target, in comparison to Canada's total of 12, seven of which were on frame.
Canada's first goal was scored in the seventh minute, setting the tone for the game and starting their journey on the road to the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup on the right foot. Sarah Stratigakis fed a square ball in from the right to Jayde Riviere who was at the top of the box with Guatemalan defence in front of her. Riviere cut back onto her right foot, wrong footing Guatemala's Anika Schaps, then blasted the ball over goalkeeper Natalie Schaps in the Guatemala net.
Riviere would get another chance in the 15th minute, Natalie Schaps saving her shot on this occasion. Canada kept possession well, building their play patiently and constantly probing for gaps. Shana Flynn would get a shot off in the 24th minute, but she sent the ball over the crossbar.
The Baby Reds would double their lead in the 35th minute, as captain Sarah Stratigakis turned goalscorer, finishing off the play from Shana Flynn's assist. Anyssa Ibrahim had sprung Flynn in oceans of space behind the Guatemalan defence with a pass from the centre of the field. She kept her composure and squared for Stratigakis to easily convert from four yards.
Jayde Riviere was brought down unfairly by Kellin Mayen in the 43rd minute. The ball was within range for Stratigakis, but she saw her free kick saved by Natalie Schaps. Canada finished the first half two goals in the lead with 68% possession and no shots allowed.
The teams came out unchanged for the second half and Stratigakis had an early chance from a free kick blocked. Guatemala got their first shot at net in the 59th minute, Gloria Roldan screwing the ball wide.
Substitute Vital Kats made a quick impact in the match, scoring the third goal for Canada in the 64th minute. Kats picked the ball up outside the penalty box, on the left side. She took a look at goal and fired a bullet into the bottom left corner, beating Natalie Schaps at her near post.
Referee Francia Gonzalez booked a pair of Canadians in the match, albeit one of them was booked twice. Substitue Lauren Raimondo was cautioned at 61' and 90'+2, with the second caution resulting in a red card just moments before the final whistle. Anyssa Ibrahim, meanwhile, was booked herself in the 89th minute.
By the end of the match, Canada had dominated with 66% possession and 88% passing accuracy through 329 completed passes.
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 canadasoccer.com