Goalscoring heroines emerged over the weekend as Costa Rica and
El Salvador stayed on course to qualify for inaugural FIFA U-17
Women's World Cup New Zealand 2008. The Central American pair
completed impressive aggregate defeats of Nicaragua and Guatemala
respectively to advance to the eight-team 2008 CONCACAF Women's
U-17 Final Round, where they will compete for three places on the
With Mexico, USA and Canada, as well as a trio of Caribbean teams, for company in the Final Round, Costa Rica and El Salvador will be banking on their attacking starlets repeating their performances during the first round. Displaying a knack of appearing at the right time, and the finishing ability to endorse this trait, Yocxelin Rodriguez was on target five times in Costa Rica's 8-1 win over Nicaragua on Sunday. Her contribution, which included four goals before half-time, ensured that she will be a marked girl when the regional battle for spots at New Zealand 2008 resumes.
A Daniela Cruz strike and a late double from Katherine Alvarado completed the victory and an emphatic 18-1 success over two legs. For their part, Nicaragua did manage to take some consolation from the tie by scoring a goal inside the Estadio Nacional in San Jose. That distinction went to Martha Silva, who did hint at her potential despite the margin of defeat.
While Costa Rica's progression was all but a formality following their resounding first leg win away from home, El Salvador had it all to do on foreign soil. Taking a 1-0 lead to Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City, their advantage quickly disappeared when Maria Amanda Monterrozo leveled the aggregate scores with just nine minutes played.
The lively Francisca Gonzales had been a source of concern to
the Guatemalans from the outset, and she finally made the
breakthrough on 34 minutes. Her well-taken goal made it 1-1 on the
night - and 2-1 to El Salvador overall - and thereafter the
visitors took control of proceedings. Gonzales, who netted the only
goal in the first leg, added her second following the restart, and
another brace from Adriana Flores rounded off an encouraging 5-1
The dates and venues for the 2008 CONCACAF Women's U-17 Final Round have yet to be determined. The world finals will take place in New Zealand later next year, where the host nation will be joined by three representatives apiece from CONCACAF, AFC, CAF, CONMEBOL and UEFA. New Zealand hosted the men's FIFA U-17 World Cup in 1999.