North American heavyweights USA and Canada have booked their
places at the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup after advancing
to the final of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament in Puebla,
A comfortable 4-0 victory over Costa Rica took the Americans through to the final, while a 2-1 win over Mexico sealed Canada's place and left the hosts to battle the Costa Ricans for the final Chile 2008 berth in Saturday afternoon's third-place play-off.
Jonelle Filigno was the young Canucks' heroine, firing home the winner with 13 minutes remaining after Mexico's teenage talisman, Charlyn Corral, had cancelled out Jodi-Ann Robinson's well-taken opener.
The US, meanwhile, found the going considerably easier against Costa Rica, cruising to a four-goal win in which Megan Klingenberg, Ingrid Wells, Jessica McDonald and Kelley O'Hara all got themselves on the scoresheet. It was an achievement that delighted head coach Tony DiCicco.
"Of course we're happy to be going to the World Cup. It's very important to win games, but I also want to play to our standard. I have to give credit to Costa Rica, they created a lot of problems for us in the midfield, but we hope to learn from that and play better against (Canada) on Saturday."
This is the third time in succession that USA and Canada will contest the final of CONCACAF Women's U-20 showpiece. In 2004, Canada won 2-1 in what was then a U-19 event score, while the US edged an equally tight 2006 encounter 3-2. We await to see who will win Round 3, and which of the beaten semi-finalists will bounce back to take bronze.