• Monday May 14, 2012

    Canada rolls past Guatemala 6-1

    GUATEMALA CITY - Defending champion Canada confirmed its place in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Under-17 Women's Championship, beating Guatemala 6-1 Sunday to complete the first round with a third consecutive victory.

    Second-half substitute Valerie Sanderson scored three, Summer Clarke had two and Jasmin Dhanda added another to send Canada to the knockout round on Thursday as the Group A winner, having outscored its opponents 16-1. It will face the runner-up from Group B, either Mexico or the United States who play each other Monday night.

    Like its first two games, Canada dominated possession and chances but wasted numerous scoring opportunities with shots high, wide or denied by Guatemala keeper Mariandre Rodas. It scored four unanswered goals in the second half to win by a lopsided margin.

    Guatemala, which had been eliminated with its 7-1 loss to Panama on Friday, finished with three defeats in its U-17 women's finals debut.

    Canada pressed Guatemala from the opening kickoff, and generated several clear chances early.

    Besides the shots high and wide, Dhanda was the first to test Rodas in the 14th minute when her volley of a Clarke cross was pushed over the bar.

    The Canadians finally took the lead in the 23rd when Clarke played a ball behind the Guatemalan defense to Dhanda, who carried it down the right side of the goal box before hitting a left-footed drive. Rodas was able to get a raised right hand to the ball, but it caromed over her and dropped over the line with Rodas desperately scrambling back to swat the ball away in vain.

    Canada continued to push forward but gave up a free kick inside the restraining arc when Larisa Staub knocked over Luz Gramajo, and Vivian Herera converted in the 28th with a curling effort into the high right corner.

    It was Guatemala's first and one of only two shots in the half, the other another free kick from 35 meters from Stephanie Rodriguez that Canadian keeper Kailen Sheridan handled with ease.

    Canada regained the lead less than three minutes later. Rodas played a goal kick to the top left corner of the Guatemalan area but Nichelle Prince pressed defender Luisa Leon and quickly stole the ball. She moved down the right side of the area before crossing into Clarke, who stuck the ball first time from on top of the penalty spot.

    The Canadians controlled the rest of the way with Sanderson, who replaced Prince in the 61st, sending a long ball out of midfield to Clarke.

    Clarke touched it around Rodas at the top of the area and finished into an open net in the 64th.

    It was Clarke's sixth goal, giving her a share of the tournament lead with American Summer Green.

    Sanderson scored the last three - all in the final 13 minutes. She headed in a corner kick in the 77th, and twice converted with left-footed volley off Ashley Lawrence crosses - in the 81st and 92nd minutes -- to give her four goals in three games.

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