CONCACAF Women's Championship Group Stage Review
Credit: Joerdeli Photography | Daniela Porcelli

CONCACAF Women's Championship Group Stage Review

The US, Canada, Panama and Jamaica all advanced to the knock-out stages while Mexico made a shocking exit to the competition.

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Kudzi Musarurwa

As the CONCACAF region continues its journey to 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in the CONCACAF Women's Championship, four teams remain in the hunt for qualification.

Group A Review

Group A in the competition consisted of MexicoPanama, the United States of America and Trinidad and Tobago​. The USWNT were heavy favourites to progress as group winners and they did not dispel pre-tournament predictions, winning all three of their matches.

The USWNT beat Mexico by six goals, Panama by five and Trinidad and Tobago by seven without conceding any in those matches either. Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe have been on song for the US and will look to keep their form going in the knockout stages.​

The story of the group however, has to be Panama. Mexico were considered the second best team in Group A but with a team comprised mostly of teenagers, Panama beat Trinidad and Tobago by three goals, lost to the US and then proceeded to defeat Mexico by two goals to nil. The standout for Panama has been their 17-year old goalkeeper, ​Yenith Bailey, who even in the heavy defeat against the US, was outstanding throughout the group stage. Their win against Mexico also meant that Mexico would not qualify out of the group stages at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament for the first time since 2000.

Group B Review

Group B had four other teams vying for qualification as well. CanadaCosta RicaCuba and Jamaica all played against each other with the ultimate goal being qualification for the World Cup.

Canada, who are the other tournament favourite, had no difficulties in winning their three matches and topping the group. They beat Jamaica by two goals, Cuba by 12 and Costa Rica by three goals but the Costa Ricans managed to get a goal for themselves in that match as well. Although not as convincing as their rivals the USWNT, Jordyn Huitema and Sophie Schmidt have been standouts for the Canadians and will be looked on to push their country to another World Cup.

Credit: Joerdeli Photography | Daniela Porcelli
Credit: Joerdeli Photography | Daniela Porcelli

Jamaica finished second in this group and after their strong showing against Canada in their first match, they then went on defeat Costa Rica by a single goal before dispatching Cuba by nine goals in their final group game. Jody Brown has been impactful up top for the Jamaicans while Khadija Shaw has been effective from midfield. Jamaica has gone from strength to strength each year in the region and their qualification from the group stages to the knock out rounds is testament to that. They will now look to further their journey if possible against one of the region's heavyweights.

The stage has now been set for the semi-finals on Sunday where Panama will be taking on Canada and then the USWNT will face Jamaica as all four teams look to try and make the final. The two teams in the final will automatically qualify for the World Cup while the winner of the third-place match will have to go through a playoff round in order to qualify for the World Cup.

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