Canada's Marie Levasseur (red jersey) celebrates after scoring against Ghana in the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Ayma on March 22, 2014, in Tibas, San Jose, Costa Rica. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Marie Levasseur scored a pair of first-half goals and Canada defeated Ghana 2-1 on Saturday at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Ayma to seal a berth in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup quarterfinals for the third time.
The Canadians, who went down a player following Bianca St. Georges’ 50th minute ejection, finished second in Group B with five points – one behind Ghana – and will meet Venezuela on Thursday for a place in the final four.
As it turned out, the CONCACAF runner-up needed to win due to Korea DPR reaching the four-point mark with a 4-3 victory over Germany in a match played simultaneously in Alajuela.
Returning to the line-up after missing the second group match with an injury, Levasseur netted the opener in the ninth minute. Defender Adu Agyemang blocked the 16-year-old’s initial attempt to cross from the right side of box. The ball sat up for Levassuer to run onto and curl a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Azume Adams from 16-yards out.
Levasseur completed her brace five minutes before the break, heading in Marie Mychele Metivier’s left-sided cross at the far post, just inches from the goal line.
St. Georges’ dismissal early in the second half provided anxious moments for Canada, but it held on admirably, only conceding a single goal to Sandra Owusu Ansah with 18 minutes left in regulation.
NOTES: Goalkeeper Rylee Foster, the 2013 CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship’s Golden Glove winner, started for the first time in the tournament.