SAN CRISTOBAL, Dominican Republic — Jamaica defeated Canada 3-1 Wednesday to win Group E at the CONCACAF Women's Under-20 Championship.
Captain Jody Brown, Lacey Murray and Marlee Fray scored for Jamaica (2-0-1) at Estadio Panamericano. Tanya Boychuk scored in stoppage time for Canada (1-1-1).
"We talked to the players about leaving it all on the field and I think tactically we got it right, but Jamaica are a transition team and they scored three transition goals," said Canada coach Rhian Wilkinson. "Jamaica did exactly what they do really well. We talked about it and we knew about their strength, so in that way it is frustrating because we otherwise dominated the game except where it matter most on the scoresheet."
Both teams had already qualified for the knockout round given the top three teams from each of the four groups move on, joining four pre-qualified teams in the round of 16.
El Salvador edged Guatemala 1-0 earlier Wednesday to finish third in Group E.
Canada will play Cuba, the third-place team in Group C, in the round of 16 Saturday while Jamaica faces Bermuda.
After group play, the tournament switches to elimination mode with Canada needing to win round-of-16, quarterfinal and semifinal matches to reach the World Cup.
Canada is one of 20 CONCACAF countries in search of two berths at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in August. There will be four CONCACAF countries in all at the FIFA championship with Costa Rica and Panama serving as co-hosts.
Canada and Jamaica each had chances in the early going with Kaila Novak knocking a shot high from an angle after rounding Jamaican goalkeeper Ella Dennis.
Brown made no mistake in the 20th minute, slicing through the Canadian defence and firing a left-footed shot past an onrushing Anna Karpenko. It was the first goal conceded by Canada at the tournament.
It was the fourth goal of the tournament for the 17-year-old Brown, who has represented Jamaica at the senior level.
Canada came close in the 57th minute when Boychuk's header beat the 'keeper but flashed just wide of the post.
Karpenko made a diving stop to palm away a low shot from Brown in the 71st minute.
Chantelle Parker created Jamaica's second goal in the 80th minute, outmuscling a defender to send in a cross. Murray then beat another defender to knock the ball in.
Canadian substitute Mya Jones' header hit the crossbar in the 83rd minute.
Fray made it 3-0 in the 89th minute after Brown drew three defenders, leaving her teammate wide open for a tap-in.
Canada got on the board with a freak goal as the clock wound down. The Jamaican 'keeper passed the ball short to a defender, whose attempted clearance hit Boychuk's back and bounced back into the goal
Jamaica finished the preliminary round with 11 goals in three games, compared to just three for Canada.
Wilkinson made nine changes to the team that tied Guatemala 0-0 on Monday, essentially going back to the lineup that opened the tournament with a 2-0 win over El Salvador.
Jamaica tied Guatemala 4-4 and defeated El Salvador 4-1 in earlier play.
Canada will likely have to go through the Americans to qualify. Canada is seeded third at the CONCACAF tournament and will face the Americans if they finish first or third in Group C (which includes Cuba, Dominican Republic and Honduras).
Canada has qualified for seven of the nine previous FIFA U-20 World Cups, reaching the quarterfinals in 2004 and 2014 and losing to the U.S. in the final of the inaugural 2002 tournament (when it was under-19) on home soil.
It failed to qualify in 2018, losing to Mexico in a semifinal penalty shootout and then 1-0 to Haiti in third-place game.
Canada won the 2004 and 2008 CONCACAF championships and finished runner-up in 2006, 2012 and 2015.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 26, 2020.
The Canadian Press