Canada Blanks Mexico in Final Group Match at CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship

Canadian Soccer Association

Canadian Soccer Association

Canada won its final group match at the 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship by a score of 1-0 over Mexico. In a gutsy performance, Canada held off the Mexican second-half attack to pick up its third win in three matches. Vanessa Legault-Cordisco scored the lone goal of the match in the first half. 

Canada created more than a half dozen quality chances, but failed to build on its lead. Mexican goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago was excellent in net, as was her Canadian counterpart Sabrina D’Angelo. Canadian U-20 coach Andrew Olivieri picked D’Angelo as the Player of the Match, with particular note to some of the saves she made late in the second half. 

Canada took a its 1-0 lead in the 28th minute after a Jenna Richardson run down the right side forced Mexico into making a foul. On the resulting free kick, Shelina Zadorsky hit the ball into the six-yard box from which Christabel Oduro redirected the ball into the path of the incoming Legault-Cordisco. She hammered it home for a 1-0 lead. 

With the goal, Canada created more and more chances in the last fifteen minutes of the first half. One one run, Ezurike was a touch away from clearing Mexico’s Cecilia Santiago to the left, but her shot to the right from the top of the box just skimmed past the unmarked goal post. 

A few minutes later, a trio of shots kept the small-but-vocal contingent of Canadian fans on the edge of their seats. First it was Ezurike from inside the box, then it was Wu from outside the box, and then again it was Ezurike after a pass from Kylie Davis. All three attempts were stopped by the Mexican goalkeeper and defence. 

Then for a third time in such a short span, Ezurike created another excellent chance, albeit this time with that extra step in an attempt to win advantage over Santiago. Once again, the Mexican goalkeeper was up to the task and made the save. 

Finally on a fourth and final chance in the first half, Ezurike again challenged the Mexican defence and goalkeeper, but this time with the ball loose and the net wide open, she was tripped the kneeling centre back Christina Murillo got her leg in the way to trip what-would-have-been a clear and free Ezurike. 

Early in the second half, Ezurike had more crack on goal, but was again stopped by Santiago. 

In the second half, both sides started trading chances, but neither side could beat the last line of defence. On one excellent Canadian chance, Richardson broke in and chipped a near-perfect shot towards a wide open goal, only to have Santiago get enough of a hand on the ball to redirect it towards the right post. 

Mexico had a couple of terrific chances late in the game, but the Canadian defence held firm. On one shot, D’Angelo tipped the ball against the crossbar and out of danger. On a last chance just before the final whistle, a point-blank shot was stopped by the Canadian goalkeeper. 

Canada’s starting XI featured Sabrina D’Angelo in goal, Vanessa Legault-Cordisco at right back, Rachel Melhado and Shelina Zadorsky at centre back, Kylie Davis at left back, and Jaclyn Sawicki, Constance de Chantal Dumont, Danica Wu, Christabel Oduro, Jenna Richardson and Nkem Ezurike from the midfield up through to the attack. 

In the second half, coach Andrew Olivieri’s substitutions were Sawicki off for Catherine Charron-Delage (46′), Ezurike off for Christine Exeter (57′), and Exeter off for Amélia Pietrangelo (90+2′). 

Mexico’s starting XI featured Cecilia Santiago in goal, Arianna Romero at right back, Christina Murillo and Alejandra Amador at centre back, Bianca Sierra at left back, and Olivia Jimenez, Nayeli Rangel, Ariana Martinez, Tanya Samarzich, Natalie Gomez, Chrystal Martinez and Alejandra Amador from the midfield up through to the attack. 

In the second half, coach Roberto Medina’s three substitutions were Rangel off for Yamile Franco (55′), Chrystal Martinez off for Fernanda Piña (58′), and Samarzich off for Daniela Solis (66′).

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