Etienne scores twice as Haiti edge Costa Rica 2-1; Mexico also victorious to start Women's U-17 Champs

By Sports Desk February 02, 2024
Lourdjina Etienne celebrates a goal. Lourdjina Etienne celebrates a goal. Concacaf

Caribbean representative Haiti had a positive start in their hunt to secure qualification to this year's FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup, as they opened the Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championship with a 2-1 win over Costa Rica in Group A action in Toluca, Mexico, on Thursday.

Lourdjina Etienne scored both goals for the Haitians in the 45th and 60th minutes, while Daniela Ocampo (89th) pulled one back for Cost Rica.

This was the second meeting between the two nations at this stage of the tournament, the first coming back in 2010 when Costa Rica blanked their Haitian counterparts 2-0. However, Haiti, were in their element and returned the favour on this occasion.

They broke the deadlock in the waning moments of the first half on an excellent team goal in transition, as Pierreline Nazon found Desert Dominique, who then slotted a pass over to Etienne, who applied the perfect finish to put Haiti 1-0 up at the break.

Etienne got her second on the hour mark with a well-struck effort from just outside the 18-yard area that gave the keeper no chance at a save.

Costa Rica desperately sought a response and almost got one in the 75th, but Alondra Gonzalez’s shot was deflected wide.

The Las Ticas eventually pulled one back courtesy of Ocampo's firmly struck right-footer from a distance. But too little too late was the cry, as Haiti held firm defensively to pocket the three points.

With the win, Haiti sits second behind hosts Mexico on goal difference, after the latter blanked El Salvador 3-0 in their encounter.

Abril Fragoso (7th and 61st) and Dana Sandoval (57th) got the job done for the El Tricolor.

Mexico hit the ground running and opened the scoring in the seventh minute through Fragoso's sensational left-footed strike.

El Salvador had their moments in an attempt to pull level, but instead, the Mexicans doubled their lead when Sandoval fired home from just outside the area.

Fragoso then completed her brace a minute past the hour mark via from the penalty spot.

Meanwhile, United States and Canada are scheduled to face Panama and Puerto Rico in Group B action on Friday.

After Group Stage round-robin play, between February 1-6, the two group winners and runners-up will advance to the Knockout Stage. The Knockout Stage will begin with the Semi-finals on February 9, followed by the third-place match and final on Sunday, February 11.

The two finalists and third-placed team will join host Dominican Republic as Concacaf's representatives at the 16-team Under-17 Women's World Cup later this year. This will be the first time Dominican Republic hosts a FIFA World Cup, and their first participation at this age level.

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