Set for the semis

Canada U-17s set to take on Panama in semifinal showdown

Canada U-17

Photo Credit: 
Canada Soccer

After qualifying for a second-straight FIFA U-17 World Cup, Canada is set to continue its crusade towards its first-ever CONCACAF U-17 title.

The young Canadians - featuring five Whitecaps FC Residency players, including captain Marco Carducci in net - have the chance to reach a second-consecutive final at the tournament, but to do so they will need to knock-off hosts Panama in front of what is expected to be sizeable crowd at the national stadium, Estadio Rommel Fernández, in Panama City on Wednesday.

The semifinal against Panama will be live in Canada on Sportsnet World at 6 p.m. PT. Fans will also be able to follow live coverage on Twitter: @CanadaSoccerEN. Pre and post-match video coverage, including highlgihts, will be available on CanadaSoccerTV.

"We will be coming up against a highly skilled and organized Panamanian team," said U-17 head coach Sean Fleming.

"We are also anticipating a hostile crowd which will give our young players the chance to experience some of the challenges that come with playing away in CONCACAF.

"We did not come here just to qualify - the whole team is fully focused on trying to win a confederation title for Canada.

"We respect the quality of the opposition left in the tournament but we also believe in our quality as well."

Canada qualified for the semifinal by winning Group B and coming from behind twice to defeat Jamaica 4-2 in the quarterfinal to book its place at the FIFA U-17 World Cup to take place in the United Arab Emirates in October of this year.

Panama, meanwhile, won Group A before defeating Trinidad and Tobago 4-2 in its quarterfinal match.

Fleming will have a full selection of players to call upon for the semifinal with mdifielder Marco Dominguez returning from suspension.

Tournament organizers in Panama are expecting a potential crowd of over 5,000 for tonight's match.