MONTERREY, Mexico (AP)Julia Grosso scored in the 64th minute and Canada secured a spot in the 2023 World Cup with a 1-0 victory over Panama at the CONCACAF W Championship on Friday night.
With Canada’s victory, Costa Rica also qualified for next summer’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Costa Rica defeated Trinidad and Tobago 4-0 in the earlier game at Estadio Universitario.
Canada, which won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, dominated possession in the first half but couldn’t punch through Panama’s defense until Grosso’s goal, her third of the tournament.
”It was definitely a tough one today but I’m glad we got the win and glad to have amazing teammates to support throughout this journey,” Grosso said.
In the earlier game, Cristin Granados scored in the 18th minute to give Costa Rica the early lead. An own goal in the 33rd doubled the lead before Granados scored her second just before halftime. Katherine Alvarado scored in the 48th.
Trinidad and Tobago was hurt when Kedie Johnson was sent off with a second yellow card in the 22nd minute.
Costa Rica has made the World Cup field just once before, in 2015.
Canada and Costa Rica joined the United States, which qualified for the World Cup the day before with a 5-0 victory over Jamaica, combined with Haiti’s 3-0 victory over tournament host Mexico.
Eight teams were divided into two groups at the W Championship. The top two finishers in each group qualify for the World Cup and advance to the semifinals. The third-place teams advance to an intercontinental playoff in February.
The winner of the W Championship also earns a spot at the 2024 Olympics in France.
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