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18th of November 2018

Sport



Canadian women lock up World Cup soccer berth in style | The Star

The Canadian women’s soccer team booked its spot in next summer’s Women’s World Cup with a 7-0 win over Panama in Sunday’s CONCACAF Women’s Championship semifinal in Frisco, Texas.

A six-goal second half, after captain Christine Sinclair opened the scoring the in 44th minute, ensured Canada will qualify for the seventh time in France next summer. Sinclair again, Jessie Fleming, Janine Beckie (two) and Rebecca Quinn all added goals once the floodgates opened in the final 45 minutes, while forward Adriana Leon rounded out the scoring after she was substituted into the game in the 68th minute. Panama rested 17-year-old goalkeeper Yenith Bailey, who starred for her country through the group stage.

Christine Sinclair’s header past Panamanian defenders Rebeca Espinosa and Yomira Pinzon opened the floodgates in a 7-0 win in Sunday’s CONCACAF semifinal in Frisco, Texas.Christine Sinclair’s header past Panamanian defenders Rebeca Espinosa and Yomira Pinzon opened the floodgates in a 7-0 win in Sunday’s CONCACAF semifinal in Frisco, Texas.  (Andy Jacobsohn / The Associated Press)

The Canadians advance to Wednesday’s final against the United States or Jamaica.

Sinclair, who has four goals in the competition, is up to 177 for Canada, seven shy of the record held by retired American striker Abby Wambach.

Leon, Nichelle Prince and Shelina Zadorsky came on a substitutes for Julia Grosso, Kadeisha Buchanan and Sinclair — who handed the captain’s armband to midfielder Diana Matheson when she left the game. Matheson played 90 minutes in her 200th international appearance.

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Canada automatically qualified as host of the last World Cup in 2015, but was knocked out in the quarterfinals. Their best finish was a fourth place in 2003.

Laura Armstrong is a sports reporter based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @lauraarmy

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