A Canada 2-0 win was enough to clinch first place in Group A at the 2015 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on Tuesday afternoon. The win gave Canada nine points from three matches, with a date against a yet-to-be-confirmed opponent in theFriday semi-finals on 11 December.
Canada’s next match is the all-important CONCACAF semi-final, Canada’s first chance to qualify for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016. By finishing first an second, both Canada and Honduras are through to the semi-final from Group A, with their opponents to be determined on Wednesday when Group B wraps up.
Canada’s Sarah Stratigakis scored a pair of wins in the group finale 2:0 win over hosts Honduras, the seventh different player to score for Canada in three matches. Lysianne Proulx and her defensive backline posted the clean sheet while young Shana Flynn was Canada’s player of the match.
“We’ve given a youth focus to the program, so the young kids are going to get a chance because if you’re good enough, you’re old enough,” said Daniel Worthington, Canada’s national EXCEL U-23 Director and U-20 coach.
After the group phase, Canada has two days to prepare for the CONCACAF semis, which will be against either Mexico or USA.
“It’s great to have support and wellness messages for the players from back home. So the message has been Canada is behind you, whether it is family and friends or coaches and fellow players.”
Canada are four-time CONCACAF women’s youth champions, twice at the U-20 level and once each at the U-17 and U-15 levels. Canada have participated in six of seven FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cups since the biennial tournament was initiated in 2002, including a silver medal at the inaugural edition on home.
Between 2014 and 2015, Canada were the only nation in the world to finish top-8 in three FIFA women’s competitions: sixth place at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, sixth place at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014, and eighth place at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2014.