Venezuela are the first South American nation to win through to the semi-finals of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup with an action-packed 3-2 win over a brave Canada.
The two sides exchanged two goals apiece in the first half, while the South Americans dominated periods of the second period but were only able to convert one of several openings.
Venezuela started brightly and earned immediate reward with a powerful run down the left from Gabriela Garcia before teeing up Deyna Castellanos who expertly placed her shot into the net past Rylee Foster.
Garcia could have extended the lead almost immediately only for her effort to whiz past the post.
However, Canada soon restored parity in a near carbon copy of the earlier goal. This time Marie Levasseur burst down the right side before laying off a perfect ball for Sarah Kinzner to finish.
Levasseur then hit the side-netting in a narrow miss, while goalkeeper Franyely Rodriguez denied Emily Borgmann with a superb block.
Levasseur put her side in front with her third of the tournament five minutes before the break following a speedy run into the right side of the penalty area.
However, Yosneidy Zambrano drew the sides level within a flash and once again it was a near repeat of the goal a few moments earlier.
Venezuela had much the better of the second stanza with Zambrano narrowly failing to score as Foster got just enough on the ball to see the ball trickle narrowly wide of the post.
The decisive moment of the match arrived just past the hour mark as Garcia outmuscled two defenders before finishing in style inside the near post from an acute angle for a worthy match-winner.
Live Your Goals Player of the Match: Gabriela Garcia (Venezuela)