Canada and Jamaica advance in Women's World Cup qualifying
EDINBURG, Texas -- Canada and Jamaica both won on Thursday to advance to the knockout stage of the CONCACAF women's World Cup qualifying tournament, while Costa Rica and Cuba were eliminated.
Janine Beckie and Nichelle Prince scored in the first half as Canada went on to beat Costa Rica 3-1 in the final game of the group stage.
Canadian captain Christine Sinclair scored her 175th career goal in the 57th minute. Sinclair, who plays for the Portland Thorns, is closing in on Abby Wambach's record of 184 international goals.
Gloria Villalobos scored the lone goal for Costa Rica in the 72nd minute.
Canada finished in first place in Group B and will face Panama in the semifinals in Frisco, Texas, on Sunday.
In the early game, Jody Brown scored three goals as Jamaica routed Cuba 9-0 to reach the knockout stage for the first time.
Jamaica, which has never been to a World Cup, now will have the daunting task of facing the top finisher in Group A, the top-ranked U.S. women's national team.
Sashana Campbell added a pair of goals, and Khadija Shaw, Deneisha Blackwood and Marlo Sweatman also scored for the Reggae Girlz.
The top two finishers in the group advance to play the top two finishers from Group A, which includes the United States. The U.S. team and Panama already have secured their spots in the semifinals on Sunday in Frisco.
The top three finishers in the tournament will earn CONCACAF's spots in the World Cup next year in France. The fourth-place team will meet Argentina in a playoff for a berth.