Canada booked their spot at the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics on Tuesday night, with the reigning gold medalists beating Jamaica 2-1 at BMO Field, and 4-1 on aggregate across the two-game qualifying series. Cloé Lacasse wasted no time in the first half, cutting inside and firing a shot at Becky Spencer in the second minute of the match, but the Jamaican goalkeeper was there to make a fairly comfortable save. Spencer did well a few minutes later to work her way out of danger, calmly flicking the ball to a teammate in front of her goal to evade the pressure put on them by the charging Nichelle Prince. It was Prince who had Canada's second good chance of the match in the 20th minute, firing a left-footed shot from the edge of the penalty area that went just high of the target. The Houston Dash forward hit the target with a volley four minutes later, but it didn't have enough power to beat Spencer. Despite being on the back foot for most of the opening half-hour, it was Jamaica who scored the game's opening goal in the 33rd minute. After a handball from Julia Grosso at the edge of the penalty area, Drew Spence stepped up and fired a free kick into the top left corner of Canada's goal, before the whole team wheeled away in celebration toward their bench. Canada nearly responded immediately, as a cross into the box from a corner was headed off the crossbar by a Jamaican defender. Moments after that, a crucial save from Spencer pushed a powerful, long-distance shot from Ashley Lawrence onto the bar, before going out for another corner moments later. On the ensuing set piece, Adriana Leon sent the ball into the six-yard box for Lacasse, whose header from close range found the back of the net, tying the match at 1-1 and restoring Canada's two-goal advantage on aggregate. Making an immediate impact after coming on at halftime to replace Prince, Jordyn Huitema gave Canada the lead five minutes after the break. After making her way up the right flank, Ashley Lawrence chipped the ball into the box, where Huitema met it and sent it into the bottom left corner of the Jamaican net to give Canada the lead. After entering the match to a loud standing ovation, replacing Adriana Leon in the 59th minute, Christine Sinclair weaved through a pair of Jamaican defenders and got a shot away from close range, but Spencer was again there to make an important stop. Sinclair tried to pick out the bottom right corner in the 72nd minute, but her shot curled around the post. Another huge stop from Spencer denied Olivia Smith her first senior national team goal with time running out in the second half, but the Jamaican shotstopper wouldn't get any more help from her attackers and the Canadians held on for a 2-1 victory, 4-1 on aggregate. With the victory, Canada have qualified for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France, for the opportunity to defend their Olympic title from Tokyo 2020. They also qualify for the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup, which will be held in February and March, 2024 in the United States.
CanPL.ca Player of the MatchCloé Lacasse, Canada Putting in an electric performance on the left side of Canada's attack, Cloé Lacasse was one of Canada's biggest difference-makers, and scored the first goal for Les Rouges.
What’s next?Canada have now qualified for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics, where the women's football competition will kick off on July 25, 2024. They join the hosts France, their Concacaf rivals United States, and South American nations Brazil and Colombia in qualifying for the Games thus far. Seven other nations will qualify in the coming months for the 12-team tournament.