After great preparation, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite came out very motivated in front of the large crowd at Heden Field on their way to earning a 4-0 quarterfinal victory over defending champions AIK FF at the 2013 Gothia Cup.
The win puts the 'Caps into a semifinal date with Swedish club Eskilsminne DIF tomorrow. Should they win, the final will be at 10:15 a.m. PT and will be streamed live at https://www.facebook.com/viaplay.se/app_226993774007770.
Early on in Thursday's quarterfinal, the 'Caps held off some pressure from their Swedish opponents. However, as the half wore on the girls found some rhythm and began to control the tempo of the match. Some chances by Sam Dion (shot just over the bar) and Jasmin Dhanda (just missing the far right post when in alone with the 'keeper) were a sign of opportunities to come.
The first goal demonstrated the great quality the girls have been showing all week.
Margaret Hadley won the ball, playing back to Jasmine Mander at the halfway line. After a string of passes the ball was combined nicely between Chelsea Harkins and Summer Clarke, who then found Jasmin Dhanda in behind the backline at the top of the box, and Dhanda made no mistake in placing it past the 'keeper for a 1-0 lead at halftime.
The second half saw the 'Caps turn up the level of play that AIK could not match.
First, Simmrin Dhaliwal played through Clarke down the right side before Clarke struck the ball on the near side to make it 2-0
Then, Clarke became the set-up player down the right side for the third goal. After cutting down the right side, Clarke crossed a ball to Seina Kashima to tap it in for 3-0.
Vancouver kept looking to go forward with Kashima cutting down to the left wing and this time being provider for Harkins to finish the scoring and send the 'Caps into the semifinals of the world-renowned Gothia Cup.
"The players have kept progressing through each match and are very confident on both sides of the ball right now," head coach Jesse Symons told whitecapsfc.com after the match. "Not only have the players performed very well on the field through our first five games, they have also been tremendous representatives off the field, connecting with players from many different countries."