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Category: Gold News

Canada needs extra time to dispatch Costa Rica in CONCACAF W Gold Cup quarterfinal

Canada outshot Costa Rica 39-5 (10-1 in shots on target), with 13 corners to Costa Rica’s one, and had 65 per cent possession.

It marked the Canadian women’s first foray into extra time since the Olympic final in Tokyo in August 2021, which ended in a penalty shootout win over Sweden.

Canada had won all 16 previous meetings with Costa Rica, with a combined 51-6 edge in goals, including a 3-0 victory in group play Wednesday in Houston.

Sheridan, who had been a spectator for most of the match, made a game-saving save in second-half injury time, kicking out her right foot to deny substitute Alexa Herrerra in a rare Costa Rica attack, assisted by some statue-like Canadian defending.

Facing a physical Costa Rica team that packed its defence, Canada dominated play but could not finish and went into halftime tied 0-0. The Canadians outshot Costa Rica 16-1 (5-0 in shots on target) in the first half and had 70 per cent possession.

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The Canadians began to show some frustration in the second half, unable to dent Costa Rica. It was one-way traffic but Costa Rica defended resolutely.

The win over Costa Rica on Wednesday sent the Canadians into the knockout round as the top seed among the eight teams advancing, having outscored its opposition 13-0 in three group stage wins with a combined 51-5 edge in shots.

Costa Rica had to survive a drawing of lots with No. 103 Puerto Rico to move on as the eighth seed after all other tiebreakers failed to separate the two teams.

No. 11 Brazil played No. 31 Argentina in the nightcap at BMO Stadium, home to Los Angeles FC and Angel City FC.

Stiffer competition awaits Canada.

The Canadians will face either the second-ranked U.S. or No. 23 Colombia in Wednesday’s semifinal in San Diego. The U. S-Colombia game goes Sunday at BMO stadium.

Canada coach Bev Priestman fielded perhaps the strongest starting 11 she had available, with Jade Rose, Cloe Lacasse and Quinn, who goes by one name, coming in for Shelina Zadorsky, Clarissa Larisey and Simi Awujo.

The Canadians are missing the injured Janine Beckie, Sydney Collins, Nichelle Prince, Jayde Riviere and Desiree Scott.

Canada threatened early, creating some five chances in the first 15 minutes but not finishing them.

The Canadians scored twice on set pieces against smaller Costa Rica in the group stage match and defender Vanessa Gilles came close in the eighth minute, sending her header over the crossbar from a corner.

Solera parried a Fleming shot in the 13th minute after a nice setup by Lacasse. Gabby Carle came close in the 21st minute but sent her shot high after a fine run. Then Jordyn Huitema was unable to knock home a ball in front of goal in the 30th minute after Adriana’s Leon’s cross deflected off a defender to her.

Gilles’ header flashed wide in the 35th minute, off a well-flighted cross from Fleming. A minute later, a Leon corner almost turned into an own goal when her delivery bounced off a defender and hit the post.

A diving Solera made a spectacular one-handed save in the 41st minute to push away Huitema’s downward header. And in first-half stoppage time, a Costa Rica defender cleared a Leon shot off the goal line with Solera down after a collision.

Huitema, who took several knocks in the first half, was replaced at halftime by Deanne Rose.

Costa Rican players went down with regularity in the second half no doubt with one eye on the clock and looking to disrupt the Canadian momentum. Canada’s wayward finishing continued in the 59th minute with Ashley Lawrence sending a shot high.

Deanne Rose’s volley was off target in the 82nd minute. Minutes later, Gilles’ shot, after a corner, went high and Leon misfired soon after.

Gilles’ stoppage-time header off a corner flashed just wide.

The Canadians earlier dispatched No. 104 El Salvador 6-0 and No. 50 Paraguay 4-0. Costa Rica lost 1-0 to Paraguay before defeating El Salvador 2-0.

Canadians Kadeisha Buchanan, Fleming and Leon were named to the tournament’s team of the group phase by tournament organizers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2024.

The Canadian Press


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