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TAMPA, Fla. — Canada advanced to the final of the CONCACAF Girls’ Under-15 Championship with a penalty shootout win over Mexico on Friday.

Montreal’s Liana Tarasco converted the decisive penalty for the Canadians, who won the shootout 6-5 after the game finished knotted at 0-0. Canadian goalkeeper Noelle Henning, from Milton, Ont., saved the Mexicans’ seventh spot kick by Elliana Ramirez to set the stage for the victory.

Canada will face the defending champion U.S. in Sunday’s final at the Hillsborough County Sportsplex. The Americans blanked the Dominican Republic 6-0 in the other semifinal Friday.

Canada lost 1-0 to the U.S. in the final Group B game Thursday. Both teams had already qualified for the semifinals with opening wins over Jamaica and Puerto Rico.

The Canadians improved to 3-1-0 with Friday’s win, outscoring the opposition 9-2. The Americans are 4-0-0 with a 30-0 edge in goals.

Canada is competing in the eight-team League A.

League B features the next 12 ranked CONCACAF teams: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bermuda, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The Canadians won the 2014 edition of the tournament, were runner-up to the U.S. in 2016 and missed out in the semifinals in 2018.

The 2020 competition was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Of the 51 players that represented Canada at the three previous tournaments, 12 have gone on to make the senior team including Julia Grosso (2014), Jordyn Huitema (2014 and 2016) and Jayde Riviere (2016).

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 5, 2022

The Canadian Press