Venezuela advanced to the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016 after a crucial 2-0 victory over Canada at the King Abdullah II International Stadium in Amman.
Deyna Castellanos’ first-half winner saw her become the all-time leading scorer at a U-17 Women’s World Cup with nine goals to date. Yerliane Moreno then sealed three valuable points for La Vinotinto with a second-half strike. All this despite the South Americans playing most of Friday’s Group B finale with ten players.
Needing only a draw to advance to the knockout stages, Canada made a strong start and created the game’s first chance through Lauren Raimondo. After getting on the end of Deanne Rose’s neat through-ball, Raimondo’s strike forced Venezuela goalkeeper Nayluisa Caceres to tip her fierce shot on to her own crossbar before the ball was cleared away.
For most of the opening half, Venezuela struggled to create a clear scoring opportunity in a match they needed to win. That all changed on the half-hour mark with a fine goal from their inspirational captain Castellanos. She struck home her third goal of the tournament after taking Moreno’s forward ball at the top of Canada’s box before neatly eluding her marker and powerfully striking a right-foot shot past an outstretched Lysianne Proulx in the Canadian goal.
The South Americans’ joy was tempered minutes later, as Venezuela were reduced to ten players after Nikol Gonzalez was shown a second yellow card following a late challenge on Canada’s Vital Kats.
With the extra player advantage, Canada went in search of an equaliser in the second half. Just after the hour mark, the North Americans struck the Venezuela crossbar again through Kats’ long-distance lob before substitute Jordyn Huitema flashed a shot across the face of goal.
As Canada pressed forward, short-handed Venezuela were content to play on the counter-attack. In the 74th minute, they doubled their lead through Moreno. She converted on the rebound after Proulx could only parry Castellanos' initial shot into her path.
With Friday’s victory, Venezuela claim the runners-up spot in Group B and will advance to play Group A winners Mexico in the quarter-finals in Amman on Wednesday 12 October. Defeat for Canada ends their campaign at Jordan 2016.
Live Your Goals Player of the Match: Deyna Castellanos (VEN)