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Canada women´s soccer defeats Mexico and are one win of Olympic berth

Christine Sinclair and Canada have a berth at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics squarely in their sights.

Not content to sit on her laurels after recently entering the record books, Sinclair was back to her goal-scoring best on Tuesday evening in guiding Canada to a 2-0 victory over Mexico at the Concacaf Olympic qualifying tournament.

Last week, Sinclair moved past retired U.S. star Abby Wambach as the all-time top scorer in international soccer (for both men and women) with her 185th goal. After sitting out her team’s previous match, the veteran forward found the back of the net again vs. Mexico at H-E-B Park for Canada, who also received a goal from Shelina Zadorsky.

By virtue of its victory, Canada finished first in Group B with nine points, ahead of Mexico, who earned six points. In topping the group, Canada will face Costa Rica in the semifinals on Feb. 7 in Carson, California.

The winner of that game advances to the tournament final on Feb. 9 (also in Carson) and qualifies for this summer’s Tokyo Olympics. Only the two tournament finalists advance to Olympics.

Canada dodged a major bullet by winning Group B. Had Canada finished behind Mexico, it would have to face Group A winner the United States (the reigning World Cup champions and No. 1 ranked team in the world) in the semifinals with an Olympic berth at stake.

The last time the Canadian women defeated their American counterparts was in 2001. Canada’s all-time record against the U.S. is 3-49-7, so a do-or-die semifinal vs. Costa Rica, who finished second in Group A, poses a far easier challenge. Ranked eighth in the world, Canada is a perfect 13-0-0 all-time vs. Costa Rica (No. 37).

The Canadian women have qualified for the last three Olympics, winning bronze medals in 2012 in London and 2016 in Rio. Canada did not qualify for the 2004 Games in Athens, as it was upset by Mexico in the semifinals of the Concacaf qualifying tournament.

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