Canada w17 secures spot in CONCACAF semis
Posted on 5 March 2016 in ↳ Women's EXCEL U-14 to U-17
Canada has secured a spot in the semi finals at the 2016 CONCACAF Women's Under-17 Championship. The undefeated Canadian side won 7:0 over the hosts Grenada on the second match day at Grenada Athletic Stadium in St. George's, GRN. Four different players scored for Canada in the win, led by a hat trick by striker Teni Akindoju.
Canada remains in second place in Group A, with leaders Haiti equal on six points, but ahead with +14 goal difference (compared to Canada's +10). Haiti won 3:2 win over Guatemala on Saturday 5 March before Canada beat Grenada.
In the group finale on Monday 7 March, Canada will face Haiti for first place in Group A. The final Group A seeding will determine how Canada and Haiti cross over to face a Group B opponent in the CONCACAF semi finals. Group B still have upcoming matches on 6 and 8 March, with USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Jamaica all still on the board.
The Friday 11 March CONCACAF semi finals will qualify two nations to the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Jordan 2016. A third nation will qualify two days later in the match for third place.
Canada has opened the 2016 CONCACAF Women's Under-17 Championship with wins against Guatemala (3:0) and Grenada (7:0). Jayde Riviere, Sarah Stratigakis, and Vital Kats were the goal scorers against Guatemala; Nahida Baalbaki, Akindoju (three), Jordyn Huitema (two), and Kennedy Faulknor were the goal scorers against Grenada.
"Haiti will look to come out strong against us," said Akindoju, the hat trick hero on the second day. "We will need to stick to our game plan and look to beat them (to win the group)."
After two matches, Canada has featured all 20 players, ensuring that no player is over taxed ahead of the group finale. Goalkeepers Lysianne Proulx and Marissa Zucchetto have posted clean sheets each.
"In transition, Haiti is dangerous," said Bev Priestman, Canada Soccer's Women's National U-17 Coach. "They are quick, they are strong, and they are a lot bigger than what we are. I think in an attacking way we can cause them some real problems, we just have to be disciplined."
The Canada-Haiti group finale will kick off at 17.00 local (16.00 ET / 13.00 PT) at the Grenada Athletic Stadium on Monday night.