Looking back on women’s football in Concacaf in 2018
MIAMI, Florida – On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, we celebrate the most memorable victories on the field. For many reasons, 2018 will go down as a year to remember for women’s football in the Concacaf region.
The Confederation hosted six important competitions including the Concacaf Women’s Championship and the Women’s Under-17 and Under-20 Championship, the expanded Girls’ Under-15 Championship and the Central American and Caribbean Women’s Qualifiers.
In total, 78 matches were delivered across these important competitions in which 159 teams participated… Nearly two-thousand female athletes played in the Confederation’s championships across the region.
Things started off in historical fashion in January at the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship in Trinidad and Tobago. For the first time ever, Mexico took home the title with a thrilling 4-2 penalty shootout win over the United States following a 1-1 draw.
There were plenty of other fireworks, as Haiti’s NeriliaMondesir (4 goals) wowed crowd with her goal-scoring exploits in helping Haiti become the first Caribbean nation to qualify for a FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, where it was joined by the U.S. and Mexico.
While Concacaf’s three representatives in France did not advance to the Knockout phase of the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in August, history was still madewhen Mondesir became the first Haiti player to score at a FIFA Women’s World Cup.
In June at the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championship in Bradenton, Florida, the U.S. claimed its fourth title with a comeback 3-2 win over Mexico in the Final.
In addition to the U.S. and Mexico, Canada also punched its ticket to the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup by overcoming Golden Ball winner Melchie Dumornay of Haiti (5 goals) in the third-place match.
The FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay would prove to be a showcase for Concacaf women’s football, as Mexico squared off against Canada in the semifinals making for the first ever all-Concacaf semifinal at a FIFA women’s youth tournament.
A 1-0 Mexico win gave El Tricolor a first-ever berth in a FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, where it would valiantly fall to Spain, 2-1.
In August, the Girls’ Under-15 Championship provided access to international football for over 500 girls from across the Concacaf region, enhancing the opportunity for long-term development and growth of the women's game in the region.
At the senior team level, three nations booked their places to this summer’s 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France following the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship in October.
The U.S. won its eighth title by topping Canada 2-0 in the Final, but stealing the headlines was Jamaica, who became the first ever Caribbean nation to qualify for a FIFA Women’s World Cup when it defeated Panama 4-2 in a penalty shootout following a 2-2 draw after extra time.
With so many memorable moments and landmark achievements, we can say that 2018 is a year that will be fondly remembered in Concacaf women’s football history.