Canada’s women’s U-17 team has been eliminated in the quarterfinals of the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup after a 3-2 loss to Venezuela Thursday at the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica.
Sarah Kinzner and Marie Levasseur scored for Canada but that wasn’t enough as Deyna Castellanos, Yosneidy Zambrano, and Gabriala Garcia scored for Venezuela to help them reach the tournament semifinals for the first time.
Whitecaps FC Girls Elite defenders Rachel Jones and Simmrin Dhaliwal both started the match for Canada.
The Canadian staff had done their homework and knew that Venezuela didn’t dominate in possession, rather relying on making the most of their chances with the ball. And that’s exactly what happened as Canada controlled much of the game with 59 per cent possession but couldn’t keep the Venezuelans at bay.
“If we look at what this is about, it’s about the future and I think these girls have really paved a way for the expectation of how under-17 players should come through and move up our system,” said head coach Bev Priestman. “It’s exciting to know that this can be achieved through the Canadian system.”
With so much on the horizon for Canadian women’s soccer, the disappointment of this elimination is tempered by the fact that there are so many more opportunities ahead for a team that had really come together as a team and Canadian soccer family.
Some of the players will be involved this summer at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and others may be involved at home again in 2015 when the biggest women’s tournament in the world comes to Canada.
But with four players who could be eligible at the U-17 level in two years and an eye-catching brand of football that won over many neutrals, it’s an exciting time to be a Canadian soccer fan.
“That’s the exciting thing,” said Priestman. “This system, in terms of true alignment, is only just starting. We’ve achieved some big milestones that maybe might take a few years to achieve for many countries but for me, Canada has a real exciting future.”