Canada rout Panama to book Women’s World Cup berth

Canada have qualified for the Women’s World Cup. (AFP pic)

LOS ANGELES: Canada booked their ticket to the 2019 Women’s World Cup in emphatic style on Sunday, with a 7-0 rout of Panama in the semifinals of the CONCACAF regional qualifier.

Christine Sinclair and Adriana Leon scored two goals apiece while Jessie Fleming, Janine Beckie, and Rebecca Quinn added one each for Canada, who secured a berth in their seventh World Cup by virtue of reaching the final of the eight-nation CONCACAF Women’s Championship.

Reigning World Cup champions the United States and Jamaica were to face off in the other semifinal later Sunday with another ticket to France on the line.

Despite the comprehensive defeat, Panama can still duplicate the Panama men’s achievement of reaching the World Cup for the first time at Russia 2018.

As well as both finalists, the winner of the third-placed playoff will earn a World Cup berth, while the fourth-placed team will play off for a spot against Argentina.

Sinclair, who took her tally of international goals to 177, ignited Canada with a header in the 44th minute after they had been frustrated in the early going by Panama.

She added another header in the 49th, two minutes after Fleming’s strike.

Beckie scored in the 58th, Quinn in the 63rd, and substitute Leon in the 76th and 78th as Canada, ranked fifth in the world by FIFA, poured it on.