Canada (pictured) celebrates after scoring against Guatemala in the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship on February 16, 2016, in Houston, Texas. (Photo: Mexsport)
HOUSTON – Canada (3W-0D-0L, 9 points) clinched first place in Group B of the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship with a 10-0 victory over Guatemala (0W-0D-3L, 0 points) on Tuesday at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The result means that the North American power will face Group A runner-up Costa Rica in the semifinals on Friday at the same venue, with the winner earning a berth in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Group A winner United States is pitted against Group B runner-up Trinidad & Tobago -- a 5-1 winner over Guyana earlier in the evening -- in the other final-four pairing.
Rebecca Quinn and Nichelle Prince scored three goals each in the triumph. Melissa Tancredi struck for a brace, while Gabrielle Carle and Janine Beckie added single tallies.
Long-serving veteran Tancredi got the things rolling in just the fourth minute, nodding in from the edge of the six-yard box off Prince’s right-sided cross to give Canada a 1-0 lead.
Seconds after another Canadian attempt was thwarted by the woodwork, Gabrielle Carle demonstrated persistence to net her first senior goal in the 27th minute. A collision with teammate Gloria Aguilar inside the six-yard box caused Guatemala goalkeeper Alicia Navas to drop a left-sided cross, Carle reacted quickly to direct an effort towards the net. The ball deflected off defender Kellin Mayen, clearing the way for the 17-year-old to jab home.
Equal parts hustle and off-the-ball movement put Canada ahead 3-0 in the 35th minute, when Allysha Chapman’s left-sided cross found Beckie unmarked in the middle of the box. With remarkable composure, Beckie side-footed the ball off the hands of a diving Navas and into the back of the net.
In the 43rd minute, Prince extended Canada’s advantage to 4-0 on a brilliant individual effort. The 20-year-old dispossessed Coralia Monterroso in the Canadian side of the center circle and raced into the left side of the Guatemalan box, holding off an Aguilar challenge, before beating Navas with the outside of her right foot.
Quinn added the first of her three straight goals in the first minute of first-half stoppage time, converting a penalty kick after Didra Martinez was whistled for a handball in the box.
The Duke University standout then sweetly hit from distance four minutes after the break and headed home from seven yards in the 52nd minute as Tancredi assisted on both goals.
Even though the clock was winding down, Canada had time to add three more goals to reach the double-digit mark.
Navas couldn’t handle a Beckie shot in the 84th minute that hopped in front of her, allowing Prince a simple tap-in to swell the score to 8-0.
Tancredi stuck a leg out in the 86th minute to block an attempted Navas clearance and the ball bobbled directly into an open net.
Finally, with slightly more than a minute remaining in normal time, Prince put an exclamation mark on the night, sweeping in with her right foot after Tancredi let a Carle pass from the right-goal line roll through her legs.
The 10-goal haul was the most Canada had ever scored in a single CWOQ game.