HIGHLIGHTS: Canada open with 2-0 win at Concacaf U-20 championship

Canada are in first place in Group E after opening with a 2:0 win over El Salvador at the 2020 Concacaf Women's Under-20 Championship. Tanya Boychuk and Kaila Novak were the goalscorers, Caitlin Shaw earned Player of the Match honours, and goalkeeper Anna Karpenko and her backline posted the clean sheet in the Saturday afternoon victory.

Seven graduates from the Whitecaps FC BMO Academy System played in the victory. Former members of the Girls Elite REX program, in partnership with BC Soccer, included Emma Regan, Joanna-Verzosa-Dolezal, Shaw, Mya Jones, and Boychuk, while Jazmine Wilkinson came in off the bench. 

“We started the tournament off against a very good El Salvador team who worked very hard and made us work for every success we had in our win,” said Rhian Wilkinson, Canada Soccer’s Women’s U-20 Coach. “We’re proud of the team, proud of our win, proud to get the tournament off with a great start with some wonderful performances. It’s a good win for us.”

MATCH CENTRE, QUOTES & PHOTOS

Every Canada U-20 match will be broadcast live in Canada on OneSoccer.ca. Canada's next two matches in Group E are Monday, February 24 against Guatemala (12:00 PT) and Wednesday, February 26 against Jamaica (12:00 PT). Fans will find extended coverage across Canada Soccer’s digital channels on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Twitter featuring the social media hashtags #canw20 and #CU20W.

From the group phase, the top-three nations advance to the Concacaf Round of 16 on Saturday 29 February (kick off TBC). The Concacaf Quarterfinals are Wednesday, March 4 followed by the Concacaf Semifinals on Friday, March 6 and the Concacaf Final on Sunday, March 8. The two nations that win their Concacaf Semifinals qualify for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Panama and Costa Rica 2020.

In the first half, Canada created chances, but could not break the deadlock. From a Lara Kazandjian corner kick in the 17th minute, Caitlin Shaw had back-to-back chances that stayed out. Then in the 29th minute, a Mya Jones cross from the right was directed just wide off Boychuk’s body.
 
Boychuk nearly reached a cross in the 31st minute and Kaila Novak hit the post in the 32nd minute. In the 43rd minute, Novak nearly reached another Canada cross into the box.
 
Just before the half, El Salvador’s Yoselyn Lopez got through on a fortuitous bounce, but she missed the far post.

In the second half after a pair of substitutions, Canada found their breakthrough in the 57th minute shortly after a Boychuk shot was saved and the ensuing Kazandjian corner kick bounced around in the penalty area. On the second chance inside the box, Boychuk knocked a rebound past the goalkeeper Paola De Paz for the 1-0 Canada lead.

In the 69th minute, a Novak cross into the box was chested down by Boychuk, but the shot was blocked by the El Salvador defence. Moments later, Caleigh Boeckx attempted a cross from the right, but De Paz collected the ball and cleared the attack.
 
In the 71st minute, Boychuk centered for Jazmine Wilkinson who briefly drew the defence, then played it wide to the onrushing Novak on the left wing. Novak made no mistake with her left-footed shot from inside the box for the Canada 2-0 lead.

With the win, Canada improved their all-time record to 61 wins, 6 draws and 16 losses in 83 Concacaf women’s youth matches (all age categories from U-15 to U-20).

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