Canada loses to the U.S. in group play at CONCACAF Women's Under-20 Championship
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Canada dug itself an early hole and fell 5-2 to the defending champion United States on Tuesday in group play at the CONCACAF Women's Under-20 Championship.
Ally Sentnor scored twice and Madeline Dahlien, Gisele Thompson and Onyeka Gamero added singles for the Americans, who opened the scoring in the third minute and led 2-0 after just 11 minutes.
Amanda Allen and Nyah Rose replied for Canada, which trailed 3-0 at the half.
Both teams had already qualified for the semifinals at the eight-team tournament, with Tuesday's game a showdown to see who finished atop Group A.
As Group A runner-up, Canada (2-1-0) will face Group B winner Mexico (3-0-0) in Friday's semifinal. The Americans (3-0-0) will face Group B runner-up Costa Rica (2-1-0).
The two finalists and third-place team qualify for next year's FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Canada lost two players to injury with defender Sophie Murdock, in the 24th minute, and Allen, in the 86th, having to come off.
Jamaica beat Panama 4-1 in an earlier Group A match at Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez where it was 29 Celsius at kickoff for Canada's game.
The U.S. went ahead early by taking advantage of a handling error by Canadian goalkeeper Coralie Lallier, whose first touch was heavy taking a backpass from a teammate. An onrushing Dahlien pounced on the mistake, poking the ball home.
Sentnor doubled the lead in the 11th minute, beating Lallier with a quick shot after the Canadian defence was sliced open by a perfect through ball from Jasmine Aikey.
Dahlien scored again in the 32nd minute, banging home a shot after along ball into the Canadian penalty box, but the play was ruled offside after video review.
Video review changed a call in the 43rd minute, awarding a penalty after Mexican referee Katia Garcia had initially ruled Zoe Markesini took Dahlien down just outside the penalty box. Thompson, the younger sister of Angel City FC's Alyssa Thompson, slotted the spot kick home in stoppage time.
The U.S. outshot Canada 9-2 (6-1 in shots on target) in the first half with the lone Canadian shot on the mark sent right at American goalkeeper Tegan Wy.
Allen, who plays for the NWSL's Orlando Pride, cut the lead to 3-1 from the penalty spot in the 54th minute after Leah Klenke was called for a handball.
The Americans answered two minutes later with an unmarked Sentnor pivoting and hammering a shot home after the ball rebounded back her way to up the lead to 4-1. Gamero made it 5-1 in the 61st with her shot from a sharp angle deflecting in off Markesini.
Rose added Canada's second in the 67th minute off the bench, outpacing a defender before sending a low shot that Wy could not handle. Wy denied Rose in the 76th after she was put in alone by Kayla Briggs.
Canada defeated Jamaica 4-0 and Panama 5-0 in its first two outings. The U.S. downed Panama 6-0 and Jamaica 4-0.
The U.S. women have won seven CONCACAF championships at this level, including six of the last seven. The Americans defeated Mexico 2-0 in last year's final.
Canada won the tournament in 2004 and 2008, defeating the U.S. both times, and was runner-up to the Americans in 2006, 2012 and 2105.
The Canadians finished third at last year's competition, beating Puerto Rico 2-0 after losing 1-0 to Mexico in the semifinal.
The U.S. came into Tuesday's game with a 53-2-4 record (including 5-2-0 against Canada) at the CONCACAF U-20 tournament.
Canada has qualified for eight of the 10 previous FIFA U-20 Women's World Cups, finishing runner-up to the U.S. in 2002 when Canada hosted the event. The U.S. also won the U-20 World Cup in 2008 and 2012.
Canada made it to the CONCACAF tournament by handily winning its qualifying group in the Dominican Republic last month. The Canadians defeated Martinique 15-0, St. Vincent and the Grenadines 12-0 and Cuba 4-0 before thumping previously unbeaten El Salvador 9-1.
The U.S. and Mexico, as last year's finalists, skipped the qualifying event.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 30, 2023.