Canada defeats Haiti, qualifies for FIFA U-17 WWC

Canada (pictured) celebrates after scoring against Haiti in the CONCACAF Under-17 Women's Championship third place match on March 13, 2016, in St. George's, Grenada. (Photo: Mexsport)

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada -- Canada is heading to its fifth consecutive FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup after defeating Haiti 4-2 in the third-place match at the CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championships on Sunday.

Halftime substitute Lauren Raimondo scored a second-half brace as the Canadians reversed the result from its 2-1 loss to Haiti in the group stage. Vital Kats and Shana Flynn also scored after the break at the Grenada Athletics Stadium.

Canada outshot Haiti 24-6 in their rematch and held a 68%-32% possession advantage.

Haiti’s Nerilia Mondesir scored a late brace for her tournament-leading sixth and seventh goals. The 17-year-old attacker entered the day tied with teammate Mikerlline St. Felix and the USA’s Frankie Tagliaferri in the Golden Boot race.

Goalkeeper Kerly Theus made 10 saves, but couldn’t prevent the Caribbean runner-up from falling just short of its first-ever U-17 World Cup in its third CU17W appearance. Substitute Martine Olivier was sent off deep into stoppage time following her second caution.

After Canada failed to capitalize on their first-half opportunities, Raimondo’s insertion at the break led to a more clinical second half, starting with her 55th-minute goal.

Emma Reagan got free on the left and sent a low cross to Jordyn Huitema. Theus blocked Huitema’s first-time strike, but Raimondo – the TSG player of the match -- popped to the rebound first and smashed her finish into an open net.

Kats doubled Canada’s lead six-minutes later when she reached Huitema’s deflected shot and chipped over the charging Theus for her second goal of the tournament.

Canada scored twice more in a two-minute stretch on pair of breakaways.

Flynn netted her first goal of the tournament in the 73rd minute, driving home a first-time finish off Kats’ cross to the right post. Then Raimondo added her second on a three-woman attack, with Flynn spotting her in space from the right for a straightforward 10-yard finish.

Mondesir gave Haiti some late consolation. In the 80th minute, she expertly touched a flick-on around goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx before slotting into an empty net. With a minute remaining in normal time, she needed only a simple toe-poke for her second of the day after getting behind the back line.

Both Raimondo and Mondesir scored in the 2014 CONCACAF Girls’ Under-15 Championship final, a game which prevailed on penalty kicks, 4-1, after a 1-1 draw.