Friday, November 5, 2010

Canada qualifies for FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011

A second-half offensive outburst against Costa Rica on Friday earned Carolina Morace's squad a 4:0 victory and booked Canada's ticket at the FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany next summer. Three goals in the space of 13 minutes (plus a fourth in added time) gave Canada its fourth consecutive shutout win at the 2010 CONCACAF Women's World Cup Qualifiers and a spot in the final, but more importantly coach Morace can breath a sigh of relief knowing that this round of hard work is done and thoughts can now be turned to Germany 2011.

Josée Bélanger opened the scoring in the 62nd minute and Jonelle Filigno and Christine Sinclair then put the game out of reach shortly thereafter, capping yet another dominating performance by the Canadians in Mexico. An own goal by Daniela Cruz late in the game completed the scoring.

Karina LeBlanc was the busiest she has been during this tournament and fully earned her fourth consecutive clean sheet. Wearing their full red kits, Canada dominated from the opening whistle with a rapid and early attack. Kyle saw her early strike deflected off a Costa Rican defender for a corner kick and Filigno then put a diving header just wide of the opposition goal. Despite maintaining possession and creating scoring opportunities, Canada could not beat Costa Rican goalkeeper Dinnia Diaz in the first half.

After the break, however, the Costa Rican defence broke down and the Canadians filled the back of the opposition net. Twenty minutes after the break, Bélanger slotted home a rebound from a Filigno shot after captain Sinclair had rounded the Costa Rican defence to deliver a dangerous low cross. Filigno doubled the lead ten minutes later.

Three minutes after Filigno scored, a corner kick found Sinclair inside the penalty area and she coolly slotted the ball past Diaz in goal.

Coach Morace made two changes from the side that beat Mexico 3-0 on Tuesday. Desiree Scott replaced Carmelina Moscato in the midfield and super-sub Jonelle Filigno earned her first start here in place of Melissa Tancredi. LeBlanc was in goal once again with Marie-Eve Nault, Candace Chapman, Sophie Schmidt and Rhian Wilkinson left to right across the back. Kaylyn Kyle and Diana Matheson joined Scott in the midfield and Bélanger and Sinclair completed the attacking three.

Canada had won all previous six matches between the two nations at this level with a combined score of 18-1. Though the most recent match was a tight 1-0 win for Canada.

Canada, whose title sponsor is Winners and presenting sponsor is Teck, will play in the championship final on Monday 8 November. It has been 12 years since Canada last won the CONCACAF Women's Championship in 1998.

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