SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Rosa Maalouf scored twice off the bench to raise her tournament total to six in two games as Canada dominated Bermuda in a 5-0 win Tuesday at the CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship.
The score did not reflect the lopsided nature of a game that saw Canada hit the woodwork five times.
It was one-way traffic from the get-go on a hot afternoon at Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez with Canada (2-0-0) controlling play. But the floodgates never really opened as Bermuda (0-2-0) held on for dear life in the face of constant attacks.
Just getting the ball out of the Bermuda half was a challenge rarely met.
Clare Logan, Jade Bordeleau and Anna Hauer also scored for Canada, which led 3-0 after a first half that saw the Canadians hold a 29-0 edge in shots (12-0 in shots on target), take 19 corners and hit the woodwork three times while having 77 per cent possession.
Canada ended up outshooting Bermuda 43-0 (17-0 in shots on target) with 35 corners.
The win assured Canada of moving into the knockout round of the tournament that will send three teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean to the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in India in October.
Canada opened play Sunday with a 10-0 demolition of the Dominican Republic, thanks to four goals from Maalouf and two apiece from Renee Watson and Amanda Allen.
Bermuda lost its opener 7-0 to Jamaica.
The Canadian women wrap up group play Thursday against Jamaica with first place on Group F on the line. The Reggae Girlz played the Dominican Republic in the late game of Tuesday's doubleheader.
Canadian coach Emma Humphries made eight changes to her starting lineup, with Noelle Henning taking over from Coralie Lallier in goal and Maalouf starting on the bench.
The top three teams in each of the four groups advance to the knockout round where they will join Saint Kitts and Nevis, Curacao, Honduras and Guyana, who booked their ticket at an earlier qualifying tournament in Bradenton, Fla.
The CONCACAF champion, runner-up and third-place finisher will qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The U.S. is defending CONCACAF champion, having dispatched Mexico 3-2 in the 2018 final. The 2020 tournament was cancelled due to the pandemic.
The Canadians had two good scoring chances in the first two minutes Tuesday with Bermuda 'keeper Dominique Brown making a save on the first shot and Logan hammering the second from distance just over the post.
Canada's possession was rewarded in the 15th minute when another Logan shot went through traffic before handcuffing Brown.
Bermuda had trouble playing the ball away from its goal, with the Canadians coming on in waves. At times, the Bermudians had all 11 players in their penalty box.
Watson hit the crossbar in the 33rd minute as the Canadians kept up relentless pressure. Two minutes later, Brown tipped another Canada shot off the woodwork.
An unmarked Bordeleau made it 2-0 in the 39th, sweeping home a cross. Hauer added to the lead four minutes later, with her shot from outside the box finding room through Brown's legs.
Allen's shot hit the Bermuda post in first-half stoppage time.
It was more of the same in the second half with Bordeleau hitting the goalpost in the 50th minute. It was Watson's turn to hit the woodwork in the 61st.
Coming off the bench, Maalouf made it 4-0 in the 70th minute, scoring from close range after a handling error by Brown. She added to her total in the 86rg after being put behind the Bermuda defence.
The Group F winner will face Honduras on Sunday. The group runner-up may end up meeting the U.S. in the quarterfinals with the Americans possibly awaiting the Group F winner in the semifinals.
Canada won the CONCACAF U-17 tournament in 2010. It was runner-up in 2012 and 2013 and finished third in 2016 and 2018.
The Canadian women qualified for the six previous editions of the FIFA-U-17 Women's World Cup, highlighted by a fourth-place finish in 2018 when they downed Germany 1-0 in the quarterfinals before falling 1-0 to Mexico in the semifinal. The Canadians lost 2-1 to New Zealand in the third-place game.
Forward Jordyn Huitema, now with Paris Saint-Germain, captained that 2018 Canadian team with Rhian Wilkinson, now in charge of the NWSL Portland Thorns, as coach.
Canada finished third at the recent CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship in Dominican Republic, qualifying for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica later this year in Costa Rica.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 26, 2022
The Canadian Press