Canada can qualify for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016 as early as this Friday night through a CONCACAF semi-final match against rivals USA. Canada, who finished second in Group A with two wins and six points, will face the Group B winners on 11 March in the second semi-final match of the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship.
The Canada v USA match will kick-off at 20.00 local (19.00 ET / 16.00 PT) at the Grenada Athletic Stadium in St. George’s, GRN. The match will be preceded by the other CONCACAF semi-final match, featuring Group A winners Haiti and Group B runners up Mexico.
“I think it is going to be a great game,” said Bev Priestman, Canada Soccer’s Women’s National U-17 Coach. “We develop players to play in these games. It is going to be a great battle, Canada-USA, as it always is. We are really excited to play it.”
Priestman thinks the semi-final match against USA will be a different challenge than the matches played during the group phase, but a challenge for which the Canadian players are ready.
“We are really excited for a much more open game where we feel we can bring out our strength,” said Priestman. “We have players who are technically capable and who have pace power and speed to go with that. They have a good vision of the game and can see spaces easily.”
Canadian captain Sarah Stratigakis, who scored two goals during the group phase (one against Guatemala and one against Haiti), is looking forward to the match.
“I think that after the group stage, we are all ready to move on to the semi-final,” said Stratigakis. “We are really looking forward to play against a tier-one opposition. It will be an exciting match.”
The Friday 11 March CONCACAF semi finals will qualify two nations to the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016. A third nation will qualify two days later in the match for third place.
Canada are four-time CONCACAF women’s youth champions, twice at the U-20 level and once each at the U-17 and U-15 levels. Canada have participated in all four FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cups since the biennial tournament was initiated in 2008, including three trips to the quarter-final phase.
Between 2014 and 2015, Canada were the only nation in the world to finish top-8 in three FIFA women’s competitions (sixth place at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, sixth place at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014, and eighth place at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2014).