SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – Victoria Pickett scored the deciding goal in penalty kicks as Canada clinched a berth at next year’s FIFA under-20 Women’s World Cup with a 1-0 victory over Mexico on Friday night at the CONCACAF U-20 championship.
Bianca St. Georges, Vital Kats, Taylor Pryce, Mika Richards also had goals for Canada, which won 5-4 in penalty kicks.
“As you can imagine, I’m so proud of the girls and the elation that they had,” said Canadian coach Daniel Worthington.
“I think for them it’s about enjoying the moment, and we need to reset for the final in two days time.”
Canada will face the United States in the tournament final on Sunday after the Americans routed host Honduras 7-0 in the other semifinal.
It was a key save from Canadian goalkeeper Rylee Foster on Mexico’s second penalty kick attempt that gave Canada an advantage on Friday.
“She (Foster) came up big for us there with the save, but also the players that actually scored the goals came up for us strong,” said Worthington.
Mexico and Honduras still has another shot at obtaining a place at the U-20 World Cup that takes place from Nov. 13-Dec. 3, 2016 in Papua New Guinea. The winner of the third-place match, which also goes Sunday, will also qualify for the World Cup.
The Canadians are four-time CONCACAF women’s youth champions, twice at the U-20 level and once each at the U-17 and U-15 levels.