Canada qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 after winning 4-3 on kicks from the penalty mark over Concacaf rivals Costa Rica. After 120 minutes in the Florida heat with no winner from a 1:1 draw, Canada won their ticket to the FIFA U-17 World Cup for the first time in six years.
Gianfranco Facchineri scored the winning kick that sent Canada to Brazil. Goalkeeper Marc Kouadio stopped Jordy Hernandez's opening kick and Jordy Evans struck the crossbar on Costa Rica's fourth attempt. Kamron Habibullah, Matthew Catavolo and Julian Altobelli also scored for Canada from the penalty spot.
This marks the seventh time that Canada advances to the FIFA U-17 World Cup, the biennial competition that was initially launched as the FIFA U-16 World Tournament in 1985. Canada have also advanced to the Concacaf Semi-finals on 14 May with a chance to reach the Championship Final for only the second time in program history.
"The big objective was to qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup and we have done that," said Andrew Olivieri, Men’s EXCEL U-14 to U-17 Program Director. "We know that there are still two matches left at the Concacaf Men's Under-17 Championship, but today was the big one and everyone should be proud of this accomplishment because our boys were really resilient during the match. We are thrilled for the program and ecstatic for the boys."
Through five matches at the 2019 Concacaf Men's Under-17 Championship, Canada have posted three wins, one draw and one loss. All 20 Canadian players have been featured in the tournament and both Marc Kouadio and Benjamin Collins have posted clean sheets. Jayden Nelson leads the way with five of Canada's 15 goals while Kamron Habibullah (three), Jérémie Omeonga (two), Jacen Russell-Rowe (two) and Simon Colyn have also scored goals (along with own goals scored by both Barbados and Curaçao).
ROAD TO THE FIFA U-17 WORLD CUP
The 2019 Concacaf Men’s Under-17 Championship runs 1-16 May in Bradenton, FL, USA. Following the Concacaf Quarter-finals, the Semi-finals are 14 May and the Championship Final is 16 May. The four nations that won their Concacaf Quarter-finals match on 12 May also qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019, to be played later this year.
CANADA SQUAD, PROFILES & MATCH DETAILS :
“The Concacaf Men’s Under-17 Championship is an exciting next step to the NEX-PRO integration strategies we have launched with our MLS academies, but also represents the type of pinnacle event where success in meaningful matches will put us among Concacaf’s top nations,” said Olivieri. “Knowing how to navigate tournament play is integral to your success on the international stage and these events are critical to a youth player’s development. Qualifying for the FIFA U-17 World Cup will allow us to accelerate the development for the players in this age group.”
CANADA SOCCER’S MEN’S EXCEL PROGRAM
Canada Soccer’s Men’s EXCEL Program channels our nation’s exceptional players into the best soccer environments. The Canada Soccer Pathway works in collaboration with our provincial and territory partners as well as the professional clubs and academies. For Canada’s elite players, the program emphasizes player development on the pathway to representing Canada’s Men’s National Team in international soccer.
MEN’S EXCEL PROGRAM U-14 to U-23 :
Canada Soccer's Men's National Youth Teams have won two CONCACAF titles: both the 1986 and 1996 CONCACAF Men's Youth Championships. Canada have now qualified for 15 FIFA men's youth tournaments: eight editions of the FIFA U-20 World Cup and seven editions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup.