Canada hit the cross bar twice, but couldn’t find the back of the net as Venezuela defeats Canada 2-0 ending its FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016 tournament.
While Canada led with 57% of possession, it struggled to contain one of the world’s young starts in Deyna Castellanos. Both Venezuela’s goals came from the skilled play of Castellanos, whose game winning first goal, a blazing strike from the top of the box, earned her the top all-time FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup goal scorer title. She also assisted Venezuela’s second goal when her rifling shot was saved by Canada’s keeper Lysianne Proulx, but the rebound found Moreno who struck it hard into the top corner.
In what was an extremely physical match, with Venezuela picking up four yellow cards and a fifth converted to a red, Canada’s young team learned some important lessons that coach Priestman-Humphries believes will make Canada’s players stronger as they develop and progress towards the Women’s National Team.
“We’re pretty disappointed right now, but we knew it was going to be a difficult game,” said Humphries-Priestman. “The key thing for us is that this is really only the start of these players’ journey towards the women’s national team and that’s important to remember. There are some Canadian players at this tournament that really showed what they can bring to our system and now we are looking forward to the future. The hurt that the players feel right now will only drive them to be better and that is what we are concentrating on – the long term future of Canada’s women’s program.
Canada women’s program has been working towards creating gritty, offensive and attacking play, something Humphries-Priestman saw in the players at Jordan 2016.
“There are lessons we will take from this match, but I am really proud of these players and what they tried to do with the ball and how they approached defending against Venezuela’s world-class number nine. One of the lessons we will take away is around securing a game when you’re in a tournament setting, which is at the core of our plan to get these players as many tournaments as they can to learn from, so when they reach the women’s national team and play at a World Cup or Olympic Games, they’ve learned these lessons already” said Humphries-Priestman.
Canada are the only team from CONCACAF to have qualified for every U-17 Women’s World Cup, a statistic that speaks to the consistent development of Canada’s young players.
Canada’s women’s youth will have another shot at earning a FIFA title later this year when Canada plays in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea beginning in November.
Canada Soccer’s Women’s EXCEL Program
The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016 runs 30 September to 21 October, with the 32 matches to be played at four stadiums in Amman, Ibid, and Al Zarqa. From 16 nations, eight will advance to the group phase to reach the Quarter-finals, where Canada have landed three times in four previous trips.
Since 2002, Canada have participated in 11 of 12 FIFA women’s youth final competitions (U-17 to U-20), including six trips to the Quarter-finals and one silver medal at Canada 2002. Canada have also won four CONCACAF women’s youth championships, with titles at the U-20 level (2004, 2008), U-17 level (2010), and U-15 level (2014).
Canada’s Jordan 2016 roster features players born 1999 or later as part of Canada Soccer’s Women’s EXCEL Program. Beyond this year, players born in 1999 are eligible for CONCACAF and FIFA U-20 competitions in 2018 while players born in 2000 or 2001 are eligible for CONCACAF and FIFA U-20 competitions in 2018 and 2020.
Canada Soccer’s Women’s EXCEL Program, presented by Bell, brings together the best with the best at the national youth level. Operating across the U-14 to U-17 and U-18 to U-23 age groups, the program delivers an aligned talent structure and system that progresses more top players to Canada’s Women’s National Team.