SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Olivia Smith scored twice Sunday as Canada blanked Panama 5-0 for its second straight win at the CONCACAF Women's Under-20 Championship.
The victory guaranteed the Canadians a spot in the semifinals with one game still to go in group play.
Canada and seven other countries are fighting for CONCACAF's three berths at next year's FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup. The top two from each group advance to the knockout stage with the two finalists and the third-place match winner qualifying for the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Zoe Markesini and Amanda Allen also had goals for Canada, which led 4-0 at the half with the first three goals coming between the 22nd and 29th minute at Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez. The Canadians also benefited from an Alejandra Garay own goal.
Allen, who plays for the NWSL's Orlando Pride, made it 5-0 with a highlight-reel shot from just outside the penalty box.
Smith also scored in the Canadians' opening 4-0 win over Jamaica on Friday.
Smith (two caps) and Allen (one cap) have already played for the Canadian senior side.
The Canadians wrap up Group A play Tuesday against the defending champion U.S. who beat Jamaica 4-0 to improve to 2-0-0.
Group B consists of Mexico, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and the host Dominican Republic, which kicked off play Thursday.
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.
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.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2023.
The Canadian Press