• Saturday Mar 03, 2012

    Late goals send Canada to U-20 women's semis

    PANAMA CITY - Jenna Richardson and Catherine Charron-Delage both scored in the final 14 minutes and gave Canada a 2-0 victory over Jamaica on Saturday, sending the North Americans to the semifinals of CONCACAF Under-20 Women's Championship.

    The loss was the fifth straight for Jamaica at the confederation finals and eliminated the Caribbean side from knockout round contention. The result also assured Mexico of a berth in the knockout round and set up a clash with Canada on Monday for the Group A title.

    Canada climbed even with Mexico with six points, but just behind on goal difference, due to Mexico's 10-0 victory over Haiti earlier Saturday.

    Canada had slightly better possession, but both sides had their chances in a game where momentum swung both ways.

    The Canadians, which needed until the second half to get its first goal against Haiti in a 5-0 win on Thursday, had the better of play early with Amelia Pietrangelo in the second minute and Jenna Richardson both testing Jamaican keeper Taylor Grant.

    Shelina Zadorsky curled a corner off the far post in the 61st and Jamaica's Toriana Patterson and Kimberly Spence had chances in the 69th and 71st.

    But Canada manager Andrew Olivieri, who made five changes to his starting lineup from Thursday's win, again inserted Charron-Delage - who had two against Haiti - to start the second half and with two more substitutions in the 59th the North Americans began to get more of the play.

    Canada finally broke through in the 76th when Christabel Oduro was sent in on Grant and rounded the keeper, but had to push the ball wide. She turned and sent the ball back in front to Christine Exeter, who dropped it off for Richardson, who volleyed it from the middle of the area.

    With the pressure off, Canada doubled its lead in the 82nd. A corner was deflected toward Exeter on the six. She settled the ball off her thigh and dropped it back for Charron-Delage, who volleyed it from nine meters.

    The winner of Monday's Canada-Mexico clash will win the group and likely avoid a semifinal meeting with the two-time and defending champion United States. The semifinal winners will qualify for the Under-20 Women's World Cup in Japan with the losers having to meet in the third-place game on March 11 for the third and final berth from CONCACAF.

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