Canadian women smash Mexico in World Cup qualifying

The pouring rain on Tuesday night did not hit the Beto Avila stadium as hard as it hit the Mexican women’s soccer team.

Canada got a convincing 3-0 win over Mexico in the last game of Group A in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying tournament in Cancun.

Candace Chapman, Josee Belanger and Jonelle Filigno scored for the visitors.

The pressure to win was not on either side since both countries were already qualified to the semifinals. However, they were trying to avoid facing the top-ranked United States in the next round, which Canada managed to do.

The victory allowed Canada to win the group with nine points, while the host nation ended the group stage with only six.

With Group B already defined, Canada will clash with Costa Rica, forcing Mexico into a tough matchup against reigning World Cup Finalist the United States on Friday.

The winners of both games – and finalists in this tournament – will qualify for the 2011 World Cup in Germany.

The third place of this competition would be facing Italy in a must-win match to get the wild card.

Tough game for Mexican goalie

Canada showed better technique the entire game.

The team, commanded by captain Christine Sinclair, did not give the Mexicans any space to operate.  Although “El Tri” managed to leak some balls in Canadian territory during the first half.

Mexico’s goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago struggled trying to keep the ball. Unfortunately for her, those mistakes were easy conversions for the Canadian team which did not wasted the chances.

The first goal came after a corner kick that Santiago appealed but with a weak punch. The ball landed in Chapman’s feet before she scored with a right kick.

After the goal, the Mexicans were unable to cross midfield, letting Canada control the game.

Mexico’s coach Leonardo Cuellar made a substitution in the 33rd minute, although he tried to keep the same 4-3-3 strategy.

Canada’s goalie Karina Leblanc has little action on her side and wasn’t called upon to make an important save.

The only dangerous play by the host team happened when Maribel Dominguez let go a powerful shot from a far distance, but the Canadian defence line held strong.

At the end of the first half another big mistake by Santiago helped Canada increase its advantage to 2-0.

The 16-year-old Santiago failed to corral the ball that a Mexican defender tried to clear, allowing Belanger to chip it into the open net.

In the second half, Filigno put the game out of sight for Canada as the Mississauga scored on a header after Belagner delivered a precise cross.