Canada is a step closer to advancing to this year’s International Soccer Federation (FIFA) Under-17 World Cup after a 3-1 victory over St. Lucia in the Confederation of North, Central American & Caribbean Associations of Soccer (CONCACAF) regional youth tournament in Honduras last Monday night.
The national side and Mexico are tied at the top of their group with 10 points each. The Mexicans, however, hold the tiebreaker with a +10 goal difference.
Despite the victory over St. Lucia, coach Sean Fleming was not pleased with the performance.
“I think there was an intensity level we didn’t have and I don’t understand that,” he said. “Anytime you’re putting on the jersey for your country, there should be no question that you’re ready to play and it doesn’t matter the opponent. We respect St Lucia in our preparations and everything and the players started being more individuals and that hurt us a little bit.
“The most important thing is we got the three points today. We’re at least guaranteed to be in the qualifying game. In some points I was happy. We created some chances but I’m a little disappointed with the players’ lack of discipline today.”
With wins over Haiti and Costa Rica and a tie with Mexico, Canada plays its final group match tonight against Panama which, with Haiti and St. Lucia, has been eliminated from advancing to the play-offs.
The United States head the other group, followed by Honduras and Jamaica which have advanced to the play-off round.
The group winners will meet in the final while the second best seeded team will oppose the third best seeded side and the best seeded team will play the fourth best seeded side.
The top four teams in the competition advance to this year’s World Cup in Chile from October 17 to November 8.
Nigeria, South Africa, Mali, Guinea, Australia, Korea Republic, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Syria and New Zealand have already qualified for the 24-team World Cup.