Neena Channan is a journalist, photographer and correspondent for Jornal de Toronto at the CONCACAF Women’s Soccer Olympic Play-In
Canada has qualified for the 2024 Olympic Games to be held in Paris. This will be the fifth consecutive appearance by Canada after they beat Jamaica in a two-match series. The first game held in Jamaica saw Canada win with a score of 2-0 and the second game held in Toronto at BMO Field where Canada triumphed with a 2-1 win. Canada currently ranked 10th beat the number 37 Jamaica 4-1 on aggregate to earn the last CONCACAF entry. The US had qualified directly for the Olympics by defeating Canada (the reigning Olympic champions) in the CONCACAF Championship final in 2022.
In game 1, Nichelle Prince and Adriana Leon scored for Canada. In game 2, Cloé Lacasse and Jordyn Huitema scored for Canada. Drew Spence scored the lone goal for Jamaica in this series.
Canada will now carry on to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games joining France, the CONCACAF champions USA and CONMEBOL’s top-two nations Brazil and Colombia. Still remaining to qualify are seven more nations to complete the 12-nation field for the Olympics.
For the game in Toronto, a sold-out record crowd of 29,212 fans, the largest ever for Canada Soccer’s National Teams in Ontario was loud and extremely proud of the team. Head coach Bev Priestman said, “We feel incredible, I thought the crowd tonight was unbelievable and they kept pushing. There were some hairy moments, but it was the crowd that kept us going again.”
In 2012 and 2016 Olympics, the team won bronze and in 2020 Tokyo Olympics (played in 2021) they won gold. Now they look forward to defending their gold medal!