Canada W17 hopes to break Venezuela shutout streak
Posted on 26 March 2014 in ↳ Women's EXCEL U-14 to U-17
Up to this point at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2014, only two teams have gone through the group stage without conceding a goal.
One of them is Venezuela and that’s who Canada’s Women’s U-17 Team will face for a spot in the tournament semi-finals. Venezuela cruised through Group A with eight goals scored without conceding one as they topped Italy, Zambia, and Costa Rica to set up the match up against Canada.
“They haven’t necessarily ruled the possession stats over their opponents,” said Head Coach Bev Priestman of the Venezuelans. “But what they have done is caused a lot of chances and scored a lot goals. We know they can be very dangerous in front of goal but I think we’ve identified areas where we can cause some problems.”
While Venezuela hasn’t been controlling games on the possession front, instead relying on clinical finishing, Canada has controlled possession for vast swaths of time in each of their three games.
BROADCAST ALERT: Fans can watch Thursday’s Canada-Venezuela match live on all four Sportsnet regional channels at 16.00 ET / 13.00 PT.
With Venezuela’s defending holding strong through all 270 minutes in the tournament thus far, Canada is going to have to use that possession advantage they’ve had to their benefit.
“I want us to keep having the possession stats but turn over the number of final acts (shots and crosses) and put them away,” said Priestman. “Most importantly, we’ve got to not concede. I think that’s something we’ve recognized that there’s a window that we typically have conceded but at this age group it’s more of a mental thing.”
The team got to look at the surface at the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica on Wednesday in advance of Thursday’s game. It’s the site of the final and third place games so they’re hoping that there will be a return trip after Thursday against Venezuela but with much more on the line.