Canada, United States punch tickets to semifinals
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Canada, United States punch tickets to semifinals

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MIAMI, Florida – Canada and the United States are through to the semifinals of the 2024 Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championship after posting victories in Group B on Sunday at the headquarters of the Mexican Football Federation in Toluca, Mexico.

United States 3-1 Puerto Rico

Group B resumed on Sunday with the United States topping Puerto Rico 3-1 to book their semifinal spot.

Puerto Rico carried their strong defensive effort from their opening match against Canada into Sunday’s affair and kept the U.S. attack in check for almost the first half hour.

Caroline Helfrich would get the breakthrough in the 28’ when she fired into net off a Riley Cross header for a 1-0 lead. Three minutes later it was 2-0 when Leena Thompson was fouled in the U.S. area and Jocelyn Travers converted from the penalty spot.

But almost immediately there was a response from Puerto Rico, as Mailya Maldonado sent a blazing right-footed shot into net to cut the U.S. lead to 2-1 in the 32’.

The U.S. did not allow Puerto Rico to get back on level terms, as the defending champions tacked on an insurance goal in the 67’ when Mya Townes took a pass from Y-Lan Nguyen and finished for the 3-1 final.

Canada 5-1 Panama

Canada also advanced to the semifinals thanks to a 5-1 victory over Panama.

Once again, the Canadians enjoyed a strong start and held a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. Kaylee Hunter opened the scoring in the 9’ with a shot from outside the area, before Keira Martin doubled the margin to 2-0 in the 20’ on a free kick from long-range.

Canada stayed on the front foot going into the second half and extended their lead to 3-0 in the 56’ through Annabelle Chukwu, who scored at the back post.

Adriana Bianchin made it 4-0 in the 71’ with a composed finish when left one-on-one with Panama GK Nicolette Mas.

Panama would finish on a high note, though, as Alison Onodera scored the first goal of the tournament for the Canaleras in the 83’ on a nice finish off a pass from Kayra Perez for a 4-1 scoreline.

However, the day and the victory belonged to Canada and Alyssa Mcleod put on the finishing touches with a goal late in stoppage time to round out the 5-1 scoreline.

Costa Rica vs. El Salvador

The final matchday of Group A begins on Monday with an all-Central American affair between Costa Rica and El Salvador.

While neither side will be advancing to the knockout stage, Monday’s contest still provides a great opportunity to end the tournament on a positive note and improve in competitive play.

Costa Rica won the two teams’ only previous encounter in a CWU17 when they were 8-1 winners in 2008, however there have been three matches in CWU17 Qualifying. Costa Rica won 2-0 in 2011 and 5-0 in 2017, while also in 2011 they played to a 0-0 draw.

In their last match, El Salvador fought valiantly in a 5-3 loss to Haiti. Hailey Hernandez was superb in scoring a brace, with both goals coming on free kicks.

Costa Rica were narrowly defeated by Mexico 1-0 and will look to finish in strong fashion. Daniel Ocampo has the lone Costa Rica goal in the tournament.

Game Notes Costa Rica vs El Salvador

Mexico vs. Haiti

Group A then concludes with Mexico and Haiti vying for a first-place finish in the group. At present, Mexico has the edge on goal difference, so a draw for El Tricolor would be enough to claim the top spot.

Mexico have a pair of clean sheet wins thus far, 3-0 against El Salvador and 1-0 versus Costa Rica. Abril Fragoso and Dana Sandoval have two goals each.

Haiti have gotten a pair of otherworldly performances from Lourdjina Etienne, who has six of the seven Haiti goals in the tournament. She accounted for both goals in the 2-1 victory over Costa Rica and then tallied four goals in the 5-3 win versus El Salvador. Etienne is one goal away from equaling Nérilia Mondésir as Haiti's top scorer in the CWU17C.

Game Notes Mexico vs Haiti