TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO (from Canada Soccer) — Canada assured itself of a place in the semifinal round of the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship, defeating host Trinidad and Tobago 4-1 Saturday.
A hat-trick from Jordyn Huitema powered Canada to its second win in as many games, guaranteeing a place in the top two of Group A at the eight-team tournament. Canada will now face Haiti, also with two wins in as many starts, in its final match Monday to determine first and second place in the group.
Despite an early goal by Trinidad and Tobago in the third minute and a loud home crowd for the opponent, Canada maintained its composure.
Huitema (Chilliwack, BC) scored first for Canada, knocking in a corner from Julia Grosso (Vancouver, BC) in the ninth minute. Huitema struck again in the 52nd minute to put Canada in the lead, earning her fourth goal of the tournament. Canada’s captain Gabrielle Carle (Levis, PQ) scored from the spot after Canada was awarded a penalty kick off a handball in the 67th minute to secure the win. Huitema added a late game-clincher in the 87th minute.
“We got the result we wanted,” said Bev Priestman, Canada Soccer women’s national U-20 head coach. “We said going into this game that we wouldn’t settle for anything less than the six points we needed to secure a spot in the semi-final and that is what this team did.”
Canada made three substitutions in the second half of match with Carle going in for Jayde Riviere (46’), Jessica De Filippo going in for Caitlin Shaw (68’) in midfield and Nadège L’Espérance replacing Tanya Boychuk (77’).
“We were able to rest a few key players today, which with a tight turnaround and five games, will make a difference for us,” said Priestman. “We’ll take away a lot from tonight and apply it to our next match against Haiti, with an eye on winning our group.”
Canada’s next match will be against Haiti on Jan. 22 and will be available live online (3 p.m. ET / noon PT) via CONCACAF at https://www.youtube.com/concacaf.