Canada are the only team from North, Central America and the Caribbean to have taken part in every edition of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. The North American powers reached the quarter-finals last time out in Azerbaijan, where they were narrowly edged by eventual runners-up Korea DPR. They reached the same stage in New Zealand in 2008 at the tournament’s first instalment, while Trinidad and Tobago 2010 proved a disappointment as they went out in the group stages after eliminating mighty USA in the qualifying rounds.
The Canucks strolled through the qualifying tournament once again in Montego Bay, Jamaica. They crushed Guatemala 8-0 before seeing off Trinidad and Tobago by the remarkable scoreline of 11-0. A 5-0 win over hosts Jamaica followed to send the Canadians through to the semi-final round without conceding a goal. They did not concede in the final against Mexico, either, but were edged in a penalty shoot-out to miss claiming the CONCACAF crown.
With a stingy and organised rearguard, Canada forego the short-passing game in favour of a direct approach. Route-one football suits striker Marie Mychele Metivier, who was top-scorer in the qualifying competition with six goals in three games. Coach Bev Priestman is in confident mood and believes her team deserve their position in Costa Rica. “We stuck to our game-plan for the whole of the qualifying campaign and we deserve exactly what we got. This team is the future of our national team and now we have to keep up the great work we’ve done.”
|18||Sabrina D ANGELO|