The activity in group B of the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship is done, and now we know who will fight for the tickets available for Tokyo 2020.
St. Kitts and Nevis, Jamaica, Mexico, and Canada were the four nations in this group, and the North American countries ended up being the semi-finalists as expected.
First match of the group: Canada 11 - 0 St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Kitts and Nevis debuted against Canada. The match finished with Canada taking the 3 points. Adriana Leon scored four goals while the PSG midfielder, Ashley Lawrence, scored a brace, and Jessie Fleming, Jayde Riviere, and Jordyn Huitema scored one goal each.
This match will be kept in the annals of football. Not only because it was the first match of St. Kitts and Nevis in the Olympic Qualifying tournament, but because Canada’s captain, Christine Sinclair, finally broke Abby Wambach’s 184 goal record. Sinclair finished the match with 185 goals for her personal record after scoring a hat trick. Here’s for more to come!
Second match of the group: Jamaica 0 - 1 Mexico
Foto: Medio Tiempo
El Tri started its competition searching for a win against the Reggae Girlz to be positioned second after Canada. Although they got what they wanted, it wasn’t easy. The first half showed Mexico as the dominant team, but the second half showed a more even match. Mexico had three shots on goal, against the four opportunities Jamaica had to test Emily Alvarado. It wasn’t until the 35th minute when the only goal of the match was scored. A set-piece brought Mexico’s goal after a delivery on the box from a corner. The ball was cleared, but Jessica Lopez put it in again, Kiana Palacios received it, and Renae Cuellar finished it to put Mexico ahead.
Mexico 6 - 0 St. Kitts and Nevis
The second day of action in the group started with this match. Mexico knew they needed another win to secure a spot in the semifinals, and so they did. Goal difference was essential, so they started scoring early on the match. At the 2nd minute, Kiana Palacios scored, and at the end of the first half, El Tri had four goals, thanks to Jimena Lopez, Stephany Mayor, and Renae Cuellar (who scored again in the second half). Liliana Mercado was subbed-in in the second half, and just a few minutes into the match scored her first goal for the national team.
Canada 9 - 0 Jamaica
Foto: Canada Soccer
This match showed complete dominance from the Canadian side, finishing with 15 shots on goal while Jamaica had none. Janine Beckie scored a hat-trick, and Deanne Ross scored a brace. But if we have to highlight a Canadian player in this match, that would definitely be Jordyn Huitema. The young PSG player scored five goals, and in that way, became the second Canadian to be able to do this after Silvana Burtini.
Mexico 0 - 2 Canada
Foto: The Monitor
The last day of the group phase gave us an interesting match between these two teams. Many thought Mexico was going to take a defensive position and maybe Canada thought the same but the truth is Mexico attacked Canada in a very physical game. This damaged Canada’s game and the Mexicans were able to put the ball in the opponents’ box several times, putting Labbé’s goal in danger.
And it wasn’t until the 26th minute when a counterattack gave Christine Sinclair the opportunity to score the first goal of the match and the number 186 for her personal account. Although Mexico was playing well and Canada was giving the ball away, after Sinclair’s goal Mexico’s confidence was not the same and they stopped attacking Labbé’s box altogether.
At the end of the first half, Canada got a corner and, taking advantage of a defensive error, Shelina Zadorsky put another in for the Canadians.
In the second half, Mexico made a good defensive work to prevent Canada from scoring again but couldn’t reproduce the same good work on the other end of the field. The game ended 2-0 with Canada getting the first place of the group.
Jamaica 7 - 0 St. Kitts and Nevis