Canada are the only CONCACAF side to have appeared at every edition of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. At New Zealand 2008, the Canadians bowed out of the competition after a quarter-final defeat by eventual third-place finishers Germany. En route to qualifying for Trinidad & Tobago 2010 the Canadians eliminated USA from contention, but amid high expectations, sputtered out at the group stage after a win over Ghana and defeats by Republic of Ireland and Brazil respectively.
The Canadians came into the CONCACAF qualifying competition as defending champions, and ultimately clinched their place at Azerbaijan 2012 by finishing second behind United States. After cruising through the group phase of the tournament, Canada were presented with a tricky semi-final test in fellow-World Cup qualifiers Mexico. However, a Valerie Sanderson goal proved the difference as Canada clinched their place on the world stage. And, as Bryan Rosenfeld’s side make their way to Azerbaijan, a loss to USA in the regional final will certainly provide extra motivation.
While the Canadians have proven their credentials by qualifying for eight of nine FIFA U-17 and U-20 Women’s World Cups, early exits at the last two instalments of the U-17 finals hangs over their heads. With Summer Clarke and Valerie Sanderson combining for over half of the Canucks’ goals throughout qualifying, the Canadians will surely be hoping the duo find similar form in Azerbaijan as they aspire to eclipse performances of the past.
Facts and figures
Haisha Cantave, Nkem Ezurike, Rachel Lamarre, Genevieve Richard
Kadiesha Buchanan, Summer Clarke, Ashley Lawrence, Valerie Sanderson
The numbers game
3 – The number of times Canada have qualified for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.