Canada opened their FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Uruguay 2018 with a hard-fought 3-0 win over Colombia in Group D thanks to a decisive opening goal from captain Jordyn Huitema, before two late strikes sealed all three points.
Both sides struggled to find any attacking rhythm in the first half, but the match came to life in the second half.
Midfielder Caitlin Shaw’s thunderous strike off the crossbar early in the half was a sign of things to come.
Colombia could have scored the opening goal when substitute Gisela Robledo was brought down in the penalty area by Canada defender Maya Antoine, but Maireth Perez’s resulting spot kick was saved by Canada goalkeeper Anna Karpenko.
Colombia’s disappointment was multiplied when Andrea Perez received her marching orders, picking up her second yellow card of the match. However, it was the South American side producing the game’s next chance when Maria Reyes had her free-kick tipped onto the crossbar by Karpenko
Canada’s breakthrough moment came from a set piece of their own when Shaw whipped in a corner kick to find the head of Huitema in the penalty area. The towering forward rose above her markers to finish from close range past Lugo.
Remarkably, Colombia hit the crossbar once again from defender Kelly Caicedo’s thunderous free-kick from about 40 yards.
Andersen Williams and Jessica De Filippo added the punctuation mark on the evening for Canada with two close-range finishes to bring their team all three points.