Mile­stone marker from Sin­clair spurs Canada to semi­fi­nal

The Standard (St. Catharines) - - Sports -

ED­IN­BURG, TEXAS — Chris­tine Sin­clair scored her 175th in­ter­na­tional goal and Canada beat Costa Rica 3-1 on Thurs­day to fin­ish the group stage un­de­feated and ad­vance to the semi­fi­nal at the CON­CA­CAF Women’s Cham­pi­onship.

Sin­clair, who can over­take Amer­i­can Abby Wam­bach for the most in­ter­na­tional goals with an­other 10, put Canada ahead 3-0 in the 57th minute af­ter first-half mark­ers from Ja­nine Beckie and Nichelle Prince.

Glo­ri­ana Vil­lalo­bos put Costa Rica on the board in the 73rd minute.

Canada opened the tour­na­ment — which serves as a World Cup qual­i­fier for North and Cen­tral Amer­ica and the Caribbean — with a 2-0 win over No. 64 Ja­maica on Fri­day. The No. 5 Cana­di­ans downed No. 88 Cuba 12-0 on Mon­day in their sec­ond match.

Canada fin­ished atop Group B and is slated to face Panama on Sun­day. Ja­maica will take on the top-ranked and Group A win­ning U.S. in the other semi­fi­nal.

The knock­out stage, which wraps up Oct. 17, will take place in Frisco, Texas.

The top three fin­ish­ers qual­ify au­to­mat­i­cally for the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France while the fourth-place team will meet Ar­gentina in a play­off to see who joins them.

The U.S. has won the re­gional cham­pi­onship seven times while Canada won twice (1998 and


Canada outscored its op­po­si­tion 24-3 in fin­ish­ing run­ner-up to the U.S. at the most re­cent CON­CA­CAF women’s tour­na­ment in 2016, which served as an Olympic qual­i­fier.

Canada is 13-0-0 all-time against Costa Rica.

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