Clarke propels Canada forward
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Canada’s Azerbaijan 2012 began in earnest today after a 1-0 over Colombia propelled them to the top of the group.

The two sides have previous at the FIFA U-17 World Cup, having met at New Zealand 2008 where they drew 1-1 and Canada needed at least that where they to have a chance of escaping Group A.

This scenario could have resulted in a cagey approach from the North Americans but, while they created few clear-cut chances, they controlled the game. However, it took until Nichelle Prince’s strike, which drifted just wide of Lissa Cardozo’s post, on 25 minutes to really set pulses racing.

The Colombian goalkeeper was fortunate to escape a couple of hairy moments later in the half though, failing to claim the ball on two occasions only for Canada to spurn the opportunities.

Dayana Castillo, who struck twice in Colombia’s 4-0 victory over Azerbaijan, was being nullified well but she did carve out Las Cafeteras’ only effort of the half, firing well over from distance.

The pattern of play continued after the break, only this time Canada were on the scoresheet after 6 minutes. Summer Clarke, who had been a nightmare for Colombia all afternoon, finishing after a fine cross by Prince.

Colombia began to find a way into the game, but were Canada never truly troubled and happy to counter-attack. Castillo had another effort two minutes from time, but Sheridan saved easily.

The quote
"You can't be upset when you win. It's true that we had many other chances to score, but the team gave a great performance, they played really well and I think that it was a good match." Linda Hathorn, Assistant Coach of Canada