After the opening 45 minutes, the prospects for Canada’s Women’s U-20 Team were about as bleak as they could get.
But it only took five minutes of the second half to get themselves out of it.
Down two goals at halftime, Canada scored twice in the opening five minutes and were pulled back from the brink of elimination and breathed some life into their FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup campaign as well as the home crowd.
The third and decisive goal coming with 10 minutes to go now ensures that Canada’s chances of reaching the quarterfinals are still very much alive and it was largely thanks to spirit and a fight that never wavered.
“It was a great atmosphere in the locker room considering the score from the first half,” said Head Coach Andrew Olivieri after the thrilling 3:2 win over Finland. “I think the girls just needed a reminder that other than the goals that came from a counter attack and a corner kick, we had the best of them in the first half.”
The celebrations, naturally, have to be short-lived as there’s still the prospect of facing a Korea DPR team that’s picked up two wins in two games and tops the group. A win really keeps Canada’s chances of advancing in their own hands and that certainly is a tough prospect.
If there’s one thing that Korea DPR has become known for, it’s that they produce top-quality female soccer players.
“We know North Korea have a lot of quality. They’re the third best team in the world in the youth programs,” said Olivieri of the Koreans, who won the 2006 edition of this tournament in Russia.
“We know we need to play better than we did tonight. We’re going to have to play 90 minutes of quality football against North Korea just to get a result.”
As things stand now, Canada is tied for second with Ghana on three points behind Korea DPR, which has six. Canada currently has the advantage on goal difference with zero while Ghana is at -2.