Canada take first place with win over Costa Rica; Panama advance to global playoff. – Equalizer Soccer

Futbol Ace

Monday night featured the final matches of the group stages of the Concacaf Women’s Championship. Canada finished first in Group B with a win over Costa Rica, who finish second. Panama’s defeat over Trinidad & Tobago sends them to the global playoff.

Canada impress, not stun, in victory over Costa Rica

Entering Monday night’s match, both Canada and Costa Rica had already qualified for the World Cup. The match still held significance, however; the winner of the match would go on to top Group B, likely face an easier opponent in the semi-finals, and potentially reach the Concacaf W final match, the winner of which gets an automatic spot at the 2024 Olympics. Needless to say, this match mattered.

Though Canada opened the scoring with a goal from Jessie Fleming in the 5th minute, it failed to capitalize on other chances near the goal, and by halftime, the game still appeared like it could go either way. But in the second half, Canada was able to bump their lead up to 2-0 with a goal from Sophie Schmidt in the 69th minute, and that score would remain true to the end, and Canada were crowned the winners of Group B in Concacaf group stage matches.

Canada did what it had to do to win, but their performance on Monday was sufficient, not inspiring. Though Costa Rica made a formidable opponent, Canada overall was not thoroughly challenged in the group stage of the Concacaf tournament, and sometimes, when a team lacks a challenge, they also lack spirit. Expect Canada to turn up the energy in the knockout round, or else their days in this tournament may be numbered.


  1. Canada – Jessie Fleming, 5′
  2. Canada – Sophie Schmidt, 68′

— Julie Schreiber

Panama advance to inter-continental playoff with win over Trinidad & Tobago

Monday night’s match between Panama and Trinidad & Tobago was a race to see which country would qualify for the inter-continental playoffs. As neither team performed well enough in the group stage matches to qualify to the World Cup, earning the wildcard playoff spot would be both teams’ only chance at making it to Australia and New Zealand in 2024. Panama had the edge going into the game, needing either a win or a tie with Trinidad & Tobago, while Trinidad & Tobago would need to win in order to advance.

From the start, it was Panama’s game to win. While Panama didn’t necessarily dominate the game in the first half – Trinidad & Tobago had 51% possession – the Central American team looked controlled and measured, and established a 1-0 lead with a goal from Marta Cox right before halftime. The second half was all Panama. As Trinidad & Tobago started to run out of steam, all Panama needed to do was keep up the calm and control they exerted in the first half, and ultimately, that was enough to come up with the win. Panama will now advance to the inter-continental playoffs in February 2023 and hope to punch their first ticket to a World Cup.

The Goals:

  1. Panama – Marta Cox, 43′

— Julie Schreiber