A single goal from Valerie Sanderson earned Canada a 1-0 victory over hosts Azerbaijan and booked their place in the quarterfinals of the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
The win secured second place in Group A for Bryan Rosenfeld’s side and set up a last-eight meeting with Korea DPR, which will take place in Baku on Thursday.
In terms of participation, the tournament is now over for the hosts, following three successive defeats and failure to register any goals.
Aware that victory would guarantee them a spot in the quarter-finals, Canada kicked off the match with attacking intent as forward pair Amandine Pierre-Louis and Nichelle Prince caused problems for the hosts.
The latter almost gave her team an advantage shortly after the half-hour mark when she beat a defender and shot towards goal, but her effort travelled wide.
As the break approached, Sanderson struck an attempt over the bar for Canada and Azerbaijan came to life, Melis Sarialtin producing a shot which Kailen Sheridan needed to stretch to save.
The home side’s resistance broke within minutes of the second half beginning, however. Prince found Pierre-Louis with a cross from the left and when the latter’s effort was parried by Aytaj Sarifova, Sanderson tapped the ball in.
Canada remained dominant in the second half without adding to the scoresheet, although Pierre-Louis hit the post with a header and Prince tested Sarifova.
Shafag Nasirova and Sabrina Ronaghi both guided attempts wide as Azerbaijan tried to claim a consolation goal but Canada stood firm to set up a date with the North Koreans.