• Wednesday Dec 09, 2015

    CU20W: Mexico wins, clinches semifinal spot

    Mexico (pictured) celebrates after scoring against Panama in the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Women's Championship match on December 9, 2015, in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. (Photo: Mexsport)

    SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras -- Mexico (2W-1D-0L, 7 points) is through to the semifinals of the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship, wrapping up Group B play at the Escuela Internacional Sampedrana on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over Panama (0W-0D-3L, 0 points).

    The result provisionally lifted the Tricolor into first place and it must wait on the result of an encounter between the United States (1W-1D-0L, 4 points) and Haiti (1W-0D-1L, 3 points) later in the day to discover if it will meet either Canada or Honduras for a berth to the next FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

    Both Mexican goals came within a minute of each other late in the first half through Blanca Solis and Jacqueline Crowther.

    Panama had a decent look at net first, when Maria Murillo burst toward goal on the right side. Goalkeeper Emily Alvarado came off her line, but Murillo managed to attempt a chip that the defense ushered into the outside netting.

    Mexico quickly countered with a chance of its own. Crowther shrugged off a defender after being played in all alone on the Panamanian goal, only to see goalkeeper Karen Chavarria make the save.

    In the 40th minute, Mexico got on the board as Solis pounced onto an attempted clearance that resulted in a loose ball in the Panama penalty area. The 19-year-old forward hit a low, first-time shot from eight-yards out that found the back of the net despite Murillo’s hustling lunge.

    Before Panama could catch its breath, Mexico doubled the lead. Once again, Crowther ran onto a Evelyn Gonzalez pass that left her alone with an onrushing Chavarria. On this occasion, the Baylor University standout slotted a left-footed shot from 11-yards into the back of the net.

    Mexico has participated in each of the six-time CU20W semifinals, finishing as runner-up in 2010 and 2014.

    The CU20W semifinal winners will qualify for Papua New Guinea 2016, as will the winner of the match for third place.

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