Canada have secured their spot in the knockout phase of the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship after a 0-0 draw with Guatemala on their second match day in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic. Kayza Massey and her backline posted the clean sheet as Canada maintained a spot in first place (tied with Jamaica) and earned a spot in the Concacaf Round of 16.
Four Whitecaps FC BMO Academy System products started match. The starters from the Girls Elite REX program, in partnership with BC Soccer, included Molly Quarry, Mya Jones, Andersen Williams, and Jazmine Wilkinson, while Caitlin Shaw and Tanya Boychuk came in off the bench.
“We are through to the next round in what will be a very long tournament with a lot of matches in a short amount of time,” said Rhian Wilkinson, Canada Soccer’s Women’s U-20 Coach. “It was a draw against a tough Guatemala team, but now we need to beat Jamaica because we want to come out of our group in first place. We are through to the next round so it won’t be an all or nothing scenario, but definitely Jamaica are a good team so we will have to prepare well in order to deliver a performance to get that win in just two days.”
With up to seven matches across 16 days, it is a heavy window for the young Canadian team. Since arriving in Dominican Republic, Canada have had two matches and just three training sessions. Unbeaten after a pair of matches, Canada have featured all 20 players who are healthy and ready to go for the group finale against Jamaica.
MATCH CENTRE, QUOTES & PHOTOS
Every Canada U-20 match will be broadcast live in Canada on OneSoccer.ca. Canada's next match in Group E is 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 produced their best chance on the last rush of the period while Guatemala’s best chances came from a pair of free kicks. Canadian goalkeeper Kayza Massey saved free kicks by both Andrea Alvarez (9’) and Marcel Anzueto (42’).
In the 20th minute, a Maya Ladhani shot was stopped by the diving Guatemala goalkeeper Ashley Avalos. In the 38th minute, Ladhani, Mya Jones and Jazmine Wilkinson combined for a chance into the box, but Wilkinson was offside on the final pass. Then in added time, Wilkinson put Wayny Balata through into the box, but the Balata low shot was wide of the far post.
In the second half after a pair of substitutions, Canada nearly broke through on a trio of chances in the first 10 minutes. Both Ladhani and substitute Kaila Novak nearly reached chances inside the box and then Marika Guay headed a Léonie Portelance free kick just wide of the back post.
Canada continued to mount pressure in the second half. Ladhani nearly got through in the 59th minute and substitute Tanya Boychuk had a similar chance in the 81st minute. In the 71st minute, Novak on the left wing fired a low shot wide of the back post. In the 87th minute, Wilkinson nearly got to chip the goalkeeper, but the two opponents crashed into each other and the ball stayed out.
In one final opportunity, Wilkinson on the right wing set up Novak with a low pass to the opposite side, but the Novak shot was stopped by Avalos from close range.