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Canada opens group stage with 3:1 win over Costa Rica at CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship

Canada Soccer’s Women’s U-20 team opened the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship with a win over Costa Rica at Ato Boldon Stadium in Trinidad and Tobago.

Canada sought to impose their play on the Costa Ricans from the early minutes of the game, building out from the back line and putting cross after cross into the box, but, it was Catalina Estrada of Costa Rica who struck first, scoring off a misplayed ball by Canada in the 28th minute. After heading into half-time down a goal, Canada rebounded coming into the second half with an offensive thrust that put them ahead 12 minutes in with goals seven minutes apart (Huitema 50’, Carle 57’).  Huitema went on to pick up a second goal (66’) to clinch three points for Canada.

“We are really pleased.  We wanted to go out there and earn those critical three points and we did. I think the team played very well,” said Bev Priestman, Canada Soccer Women’s U-20 Head Coach and Women’s National EXCEL Director U15-U23 after the match.  “There are some things we will take away from this match, but we are now looking ahead to a match against a very different opponent, hosts Trinidad and Tobago, only two days from now.”

Canada made three subs in the second half of the match with Jessica Lisi coming in for Ashley Cathro (67’) at left-back, Caitlin Shaw coming in for Sarah Stratigakis (74’) in midfield and Teni Akindoju replacing Shana Flynn (84’) on the front line.

“Canada is really invested in the women’s game and what you see on the pitch here is six year’s investment in a system and a pathway. As a country we’re investing in young players and those young players have tournament experience and that only helps them in these tournament environments,” added Priestman.

Canada’s second group stage match will be against Trinidad and Tobago on 20 January and will be available live online at 18:30 local (17:30 ET) via CONCACAF at https://www.youtube.com/concacaf.

Canada has won the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship twice before in 2004 and 2008.

About Canada Soccer’s Women’s National EXCEL Program
Canada Soccer Women’s National EXCEL Program brings together the best with the best at the national youth level, throughout each year. Operating across the U-14 to U-20 age groups, the program is designed to deliver an aligned talent structure and system that progresses more top players to Canada’s Women’s National Team. Major competitions which are viewed as staging posts to assess development, allows for the development of the Women’s EXCEL Team Playing Model and tournament processes and expertise, ultimately preparing players for when they do progress up the system.

Additionally, the most talented U14 to U18 players are offered a specialised daily training environment through the Regional EXCEL Program, which is delivers Canada Soccer’s national curriculum year-round through a two tiered talent system, with three Super Centres streamlining Canada’s National EXCEL Players into training environments in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec from smaller provincial licenced Centres.

Canada Soccer’s EXCEL System has already produced eight Women’s National Team players, and Olympic bronze medalists in Kadeisha Buchanan, Ashley Lawrence, Jessie Fleming, Rebecca Quinn, Janine Beckie, Shelina Zadorsky, Deanne Rose, and Gabrielle Carle, three of whom are still eligible for youth competition.

CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship Trinidad & Tobago 2018 – Canada’s Match Schedule (all times local to Trinidad and Tobago in AST).

  • Group Stage (Group A):
    • Thursday, January 18, 2018, 16:00 Costa Rica 1 v Canada 3
    • Saturday, January 20, 2018,18:30 Canada v Trinidad & Tobago
    • Monday, January 22, 2018, 16:00 Haiti v Canada
  • Friday, January 26, 2018 – Semifinals:
    • 16:00 1B v 2A
    • 18:30 1A v 2B
  • Sunday, January 28, 2018 – 3rd Place Match and Final:
    • 16:00 L13 v L14
    • 18:30 W13 v W14

Canada Soccer Roster: CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship Trinidad & Tobago 2018

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