Two-time world champions USA and Canada have secured passage to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan 2012 after comfortably seeing off Mexico and Panama respectively in the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Under-20 Women's Championship.
USA were in command by half-time against Mexico thanks to first-half goals from Julie Johnston, Morgan Brian and Lindsey Horan, before Kealia Ohai rounded out the scoring late on in Panama City.
The Stars & Stripes won the inaugural FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2002 and repeated the achievement at Chile 2008. They also twice reached the semi-finals during the intervening period, but fell at the quarter-final stage two years ago in Germany.
Canada, hosts of the initial tournament a decade ago, make a welcome return to the world stage after failing to qualify for the first time two year ago.
Christabel Oduro led the way for the Canadians scoring two and having a hand in three others in a 6-0 win against Panama.
Canada will now face USA on Sunday seeking to secure regional supremacy, while hosts Panama and Mexico will contend for CONCACAF’s third and remaining ticket to Japan 2012.