2018 FIFA under-17 Women’s World Cup: Mexico pursue their dream run after getting past Continental rivals Canada
Semi-final: Mexico 1 - 0 Canada (MEX: Nicole Pérez 25' (Pen))
Mexico made history after securing a place in the Finals of the 2018 FIFA under-17 World Cup after overcoming Canada by a solitary goal at the Estadio Charrúa in Montevideo, Uruguay.
The CONCACAF derby turned out to become a disappointing game for Rhian Wilkinson and her team after they commanded 59% of the ball possession but did not register even a single shot on target from their seven attempts which proved to be the difference between the two teams.
There was nothing to choose between the two teams until Maya Antoine’s untidy challenge on Alison González resulted in Russian referee Anastasia Pustovoytova brandishing the yellow card and awarding a spot-kick. Alison González robbed the ball of Maya Antoine’s feet and in the process of retrieving the ball mounted a clumsy challenge inside the box.
Nicole Pérez smashed the penalty kick to the left corner leaving the Canadian goalkeeper Anna Karpenko stranded.
A bad pass from Tanna Carreto resulted in Jordyn Huitema intercepting the ball and moving ahead to strike it into the net past the splaying Mexican goalkeeper Jaidy Gutiérrez. Unfortunately, the goal was disallowed after Teni Akindoju barged in on Tanna Carreto which got deemed as a foul by the referee.
In the second half, Natalia Mauléon fired in a long-range strike which brushed the left crossbar to send Karpenko scurrying as Canada struggled to get into the game nearly conceding another goal to the El Tris.
Mexico closed in on another attempt in the dying minutes when Anna Karpenko denied Silvana Flores with a brave save and the follow up from Anette Vazquez went wide off the post. The referee sounded the closing whistle leaving an ecstatic Mexican head coach Monica Vergara joining her team in the celebrations.
Mexico managed five of their 18 shots on target while a resolute Mexican defence blocked five of The Canuck’s attempts with the woodwork denying them twice.
Canada faces New Zealand for third place on Saturday before the finals. Alison Gonzalez collected the player of the match award.
Third place play-off line-up: Canada Vs New Zealand
Final line-up: Mexico Vs Spain