Canada vs. Costa Rica result: Les Rouges march on to CONCACAF W Championship semifinals after perfect group stage – Sporting News

  • September 8, 2022

Reigning Olympic champions Canada showed they are contenders to win the CONCACAF W Championship after finishing a perfect group stage with a third straight shutout win, 2-0 over Costa Rica.
The nine points placed Canada at the top of Group B and ensured it will avoid rivals USA in the semifinals and instead face the second-place team in Group A: Jamaica. Meanwhile, Costa Rica will be the team to have to face the Americans in the semis as the second-place finishers in Group B. The USA and Canada are the popular pick to meet in the W Championship final on Monday, July 18.
Only the winner of the W Championship will earn the automatic berth that’s available to the 2024 Olympics. The second- and third-place teams will meet in a September 2023 playoff for the other Olympic berth.
An early 5th-minute goal by Jessie Fleming erased any doubts about whether Canada had the attacking firepower to get past a Costa Rican side that hadn’t previously conceded in the tournament.
Then late in the second half, just when Costa Rica looked to be getting closer to a goal, Canada put the game away through substitute Sophie Schmidt, who applied an exquisite curling finish in the box for the 2-0 scoreline that held up as the final.
The attacking prowess showed off by Costa Rica in previous Group B matches was extinguished by Canada’s first-choice back line led by central defenders Vanessa Gilles and Kadeisha Buchanan, who neutralized virtually every threat.
MORE: 2022 CONCACAF W Championship standings, results, and highlights

Group B Final Standings
X = qualified to semifinals, clinch World Cup berth
Y = clinched World Cup intercontinental playoff berth
Goals:
CAN — Jessie Fleming (Nichelle Prince) — 5th min.
CAN — Sophie Schmidt (Adriana Leon) — 69th min.
85th min.: Canada hit the post! It’s the Canadians coming closer to another goal despite the Costa Rican subs. After a save by Costa Rica’s goalkeeper, Cloe Lacasse pushes the rebound off the left post, and it stays out.
83rd min.: SUBS COSTA RICA — Legend Shirley Cruz and Carol Sanchez are into the game for Costa Rica as the underdogs make one final push. Valeria del Campo and Melissa Herrera are out of the game.
76th min.: SUB CANADA — Last sub for Canada as Cloe Lacasse enters the match in place of Janine Beckie. Meanwhile, Costa Rica bring on Maria Paula Salas in for Cristin Granados.
Sophie Schmidt is the 3rd #CANWNT player to score in three different decades (2000s, 2010s, 2020s). She joins Christine Sinclair and Diana Matheson 🍁#WeCAN @ConcacafW pic.twitter.com/Hf25Lf6Rub
69th min.: Goal Canada! One minute after Costa Rica tested the Canadian back line, it’s Sophie Schmidt who finds the back of the net with a good show of skill in the box, curling a ball off the far right post. The subs pay off for Canada with Adriana Leon feeding Schmidt the ball.
GOAL 🇨🇦🇨🇦

SOPHIE SCHMIDT makes it 2-0 for the #CanWNT vs. Costa Rica, scoring a lovely curling goal just before the 70th minute of play#CWC | 🔴 https://t.co/7JFAUhgjL6 pic.twitter.com/R5i9pdYUK3
SOPHIE SCHMIDT WITH THE CURLER FOR CANADA. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/2QFU9LItvo
68th min.: Best chance for Costa Rica and the shot is ripped just wide left.
61st min.: SUBS CANADA — Sophie Schmidt comes in for Quinn in midfield, Allysha Chapman is on for Jayde Riviere, but it’s Ashley Lawrence who will move from left back to right back.
55th min.: Costa Rica has spent more time in Canada’s half than Bev Priestman and the Canadian squad are probably comfortable with. Canada center back Kadeisha Buchanan needs to track back in spectacular fashion to extinguish another dangerous attacking through ball by the Costa Ricans.
Kadeisha Buchanan mopping up everything on the ground, Vanessa Gilles mopping up everything in the air, the #CanWNT/#CanXNT have so far been in safe hands in the transition moments that Costa Rica have been able to have

They’ll look to keep that up with 30 to go
46th min.: SUBS CANADA — We’re underway and Canada introduce two fresh faces. Jordyn Huitema is in for Christine Sinclair, while Adriana Leon comes in for Nichelle Prince.
Halftime: Canada deserve the lead, but the margin should arguably be wider. Good Costa Rican defending has limited Canada to half chances outside of Jessie Fleming’s goal. The other best chances fell to Nichelle Prince and Janine Beckie in the box, but they could not capitalize. According to Paramount+, Canada handily won the expected goals battle 2.9 to 0.1 in that first half.
Especially given the Monterrey heat, Canada manager Bev Priestman would love nothing more than to put this game away early so she can preserve some of her key players ahead of Thursday’s semifinal. As long as Costa Rica is hanging around down just 1-0, they are a threat and are likely to throw more numbers forward late in the game.
48th+ min.: With mics catching Canada coach Bev Priestman shouting “keep using the width” Nichelle Prince gets the ball wide right and takes on a defender before sending yet another cross into the box. A minute later Janine Beckie jumps on a deflected Costa Rica clearance in the box and comes close to a second. Beckie and Prince have put in quite the shift.
45th min.: Another stoppage in play after Nichelle Prince inadvertently stepped on the foot of the Costa Rican ‘keeper. She needs treatment, though it looked like she may have been milking the clock there.
40th min.: Yellow card to Janine Beckie for ramming into the head of Costa Rican defender Valeria Del Campo. Beckie can’t believe that she got the caution card, but she knew what she was doing there. That could’ve done some serious damage.
35th min.: Canada is upping the tempo looking for one more before the break. The pressure has been effective by Canada, and they are winning back the ball regularly.
29th min.: Play resumes after a hydration break. It’s apparently over 100 degrees in Mexico. Another reason for Canada to want to put this game away early.
One-nil Canada at drinks. Seven shots so far for Canada and 68% of the ball. #CANWNT | #CANXNT #concacafwxespn
22nd min.: It’s been all Canada, who have the Costa Rican side pinned in its own half. Canada will definitely want to get another goal to confirm its superiority thus far and ensure a slightly calmer second half.
16th min.: Another dangerous set-piece delivery by Janine Beckie into the box and Christine Sinclair can’t put her header on frame. Beckie looks to be on her game today.
13th min.: YELLOW CARD to Costa Rica’s Daniel Cruz. That’s important to track since we know that yellow cards could come into play.
11th min.: Canada nearly made it 2-0! Vanessa Gilles tees up Nichelle Prince in the box, but Prince’s point-blank shot is blocked by a Costa Rican defender inside the six-yard box. 
5th min.: Goal Canada! Nichelle Prince converges from the left to the center and threads a through ball into the box for Jessie Fleming, who applies the cool finish. Great start for Canada. First goal given up by Costa Rica at the W Championship.
GOAL 🇨🇦

JESSIE FLEMING gets on the board early for the #CanWNT, giving her team a 1-0 lead over Costa Rica after getting on the end of a perfect through pass by Nichelle Prince #CWC | 🔴 https://t.co/7JFAUhgjL6 pic.twitter.com/mcasmj8SJz
JESSIE FLEMING PUTS CANADA UP IN LESS THAN FIVE MINUTES. 💪 pic.twitter.com/nwwYERR5fA
4th min.: Now Beckie turns provider from a corner kick and Vanessa Gilles, always an attacking target on set pieces, heads over the goal.
3rd min.: Canada with the first attacking threat of the match. Quinn float a ball into the box and Janine Beckie heads the ball wide.
1st min.: We’re underway. Canada in red and Costa Rica in the alternate black-and-white stripes.
5 mins to kick: The anthems are out of the way and we’re just about ready for kickoff.
59 mins to kick: Lineups are in, and tournament leading scorer Julia Grosso is sent back to the bench after starting last game and scoring the winner. Otherwise, it’s a standard XI for Canada.
89 mins to kick: With lineups yet to be posted, we’ll see if 39-year-old Christine Sinclair gets the nod up front for Canada’s struggling attack. One of her record 190 international goals came against Costa Rica back in 2019 in spectacular fashion.
Throwback to 2016 against Costa Rica, Christine Sinclair scores a wonder goal en route to a 3-1 Canada victory 🚀⚽️#WeCAN @CANWNT

🎥: @concacaf pic.twitter.com/jdK9CwRifS
101 mins to kick: 21-year-old midfielder Julia Grosso has been one of the few bright spots in the attack for Canada so far in the CONCACAF W Championships. Despite her young age, Grosso has established herself as a regular within the squad, sitting on 39 international caps.
Still, the most impressive part of Grosso’s tournament-high three goals is that she came off the bench in the first match. With Canada struggling up front as a whole, will Bev Priestman consider starting Grosso from the beginning against Costa Rica in the Group B decider?
The 2022 @ConcacafW Championship leading scorer so far…

Julia Grosso 💪 pic.twitter.com/akC7a0IGAa
120 mins to kick: There is a potentially chaotic result to tonight’s match that could see the winner of Group B chosen by a drawing of lots.
The two teams are currently level on every single tiebreaking metric used to differentiate teams in the group stage of the CONCACAF W Championship — points (6), goal difference (+7), goals for (7), and even the fair play metric (-1).
If the two teams draw tonight and collect the same amount of fair play points (-1 for yellow card, -3 for second yellow card, -4 for direct red card), the winner of Group B would be decided by a drawing of lots.
Canada will secure top spot in Group B with the following result 🇨🇦

Canada win the match
OR
Canada draw the match and finish with a better disciplinary record

IF the match is drawn, and both teams are equal on disciplinary points… Concacaf will draw lots for a Group B winner. pic.twitter.com/FqwMknZ11A
Canada head coach Bev Priestman has moved Janine Beckie between winger and fullback during the tournament, but she’ll be depending on her to be a difference-maker in attack against Costa Rica. 
Quinn was rested against Panama, but they return against Costa Rica in place of Julia Grosso, who is likely one of the first options off the bench. The other returning players are center back Vanessa Gilles, right back Jayde Riviere, and the legendary Christine Sinclair.
Canada starting lineup (4-3-3, left to right): 21-Kailen Sheridan (GK) — 10-Ashley Lawrence, 14-Vanessa Gilles, 3-Kadeisha Buchanan, 8-Jayde Riviere — 5-Quinn, 11-Desiree Scott, 17-Jessie Fleming — 15-Nichelle Prince, 12-Christine Sinclair, 16-Janine Beckie
Canada subs (12): 18-Sabrina D’Angelo (GK), 2-Lysianne Proulx (GK), 4-Shelina Zadorsky, 23-Bianca St. Georges, 2-Allysha Chapman, 21-Zoe Burns, 7-Julia Grosso, 13-Sophie Schmidt, 20-Cloe Lacasse, 19-Adriana Leon, 6-Deanne Rose, 9-Jordyn Huitema
MORE: Who are the best women’s national teams in the world?
The five center back tactical system used by Costa Rica has caused issues for both opponents thus far, with Panama and Trinidad and Tobago forced to foul consistently to stay in the game.
Costa Rica generates attacking chances, and often finds a way to finish them, converting exactly half their 32 shots into on-frame attempts thus far through the first two matches. There’s exciting youth sprinkled into the lineup, with 20-year-old Priscila Chinchilla, who plays for Glasgow City in Scotland, deployed on the left flank. 
Costa Rica projected starting lineup (5-3-2, left to right): 23-Daniela Solera (GK) — 8-Daniela Cruz, 5-Valeria Del Campo, 4-Mariana Benavides, 20-Fabiola Villalobos, 3-Maria Paula Coto — 11-Raquel Rodriguez, 15-Cristin Granados, 16-Katherine Alvarado — 14-Priscila Chinchilla, 7-Melissa Herrera
Costa Rica subs (12): 1-Noelia Bermudez (GK), 18-Priscilla Tapia, 2-Gabriela Guillen, 12-Lixy Rodriguez, 22-Cristel Sandi, 6-Carol Sanchez, 13-Emilie Valenciano, 21-Viviana Chinchilla, 10-Shirley Cruz, 17-Michelle Montero, 19-Maria Paula Salas, 9-Carolina Venegas
USA: The CONCACAF W Championship match will be streamed on Paramount+ (English) and ViX (Spanish).
CANADA: The Canada women’s soccer match will be carried by OneSoccer, which is streamed on fuboTV. CBC Sports (and CBC Gem) will also carry it live.
MORE: Canada women secure Women’s World Cup berth with narrow victory over Panama
Christine Sinclair knows a thing or two about scoring @FIFAWWC goals! 🏆

🇺🇸 2003 ⚽️⚽️⚽️
🇨🇳 2007 ⚽️⚽️⚽️
🇩🇪 2011 ⚽️
🇨🇦 2015 ⚽️⚽️
🇫🇷 2019 ⚽️
🇦🇺 🇳🇿 2023 ???#WeCAN pic.twitter.com/itvRCXR9hk
Canada is a favorite for the Group B decider, but the odds are not be as lopsided as some we’ve seen in this CONCACAF W Championship tournament. The two sides have both performed at similar levels against similar opponents, leading to the expectation of a tighter match.
While Canada remains a -455 favorite to defeat Costa Rica and top Group B, those odds pale in comparison to the -4000 given to the United States to defeat struggling hosts Mexico later in the evening in Group A. Some respect is given to Costa Rica for its bright tournament performance thus far, but there is still only one winner expected in this match.

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