Canada is in the quarterfinals of the International Soccer Federation (FIFA) women’s Under-17 World Cup in Azerbaijan.
The national side shut out the host country 1-0 in their final first round group match after defeating Colombia by a similar margin and holding Nigeria to a 1-1 draw.
The Canadians face the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – winners of the inaugural tournament in 2008 – today. The North Koreans drew with the United States and France and blasted Gambia 11-0 on their way to the competition’s knockout stage.
In the other quarterfinals, Ghana will oppose 2010 runner-up Japan; Germany will play Brazil and Nigeria takes on France.
Meanwhile, the national men’s Under-20 side is set to participate in the Marbella Cup in Spain from October 7 to 16. Canada faces the United States on October 10, Azerbaijan two days later and Scotland on October 15.
The national side is using the four-team tournament as preparation for the 2013 Confederation of North, Central American & Caribbean Associations of Soccer’s (CONCACAF) 12-team Under-20 championships from February 18 to March 3 in Mexico. The top four teams will advance to the FIFA World Cup in Turkey later next year.
Included in the national squad for the Marbella Cup are players from the four Canadian professional teams and clubs in five European countries. Toronto FC goalkeeper Quillan Roberts, who played for Canada in last year’s FIFA Under-17 World Cup and 19-year-old defender Doneil Henry – he has represented the senior national side – are in the lineup.
Canada has not qualified for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup since hosting the global tournament five years ago.
And, Toronto FC kept its hopes alive in the CONCACAF Champions League with a 3-0 win over Aguila in El Salvador. The local team must beat Santos Laguna of Mexico by more than two goals on October 24 on the road to advance to the next round. The Mexicans prevailed 3-1 at BMO Field on August 28.