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Keera Melenhorst & Team Canada qualify for the U20 Women’s World Cup

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Ottawa’s Keera Melenhorst helped Team Canada qualify for the 2022 FIFA Women’s Under-20 World Cup thanks to their third-place finish at the Concacaf championship.

The 18-year-old midfielder appeared in all seven of Canada’s contests at the Feb. 25-March 12 tournament in Dominican Republic. She started in Canada’s 7-0 win against St. Kitts and Nevis and then subbed in for its 3-0 win over El Salvador.

Melenhorst started and scored in the Canadians’ 5-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago as they went on to top their group with a perfect record.

In the playoff round, Melenhorst entered the match as a substitute and scored in Canada’s 13-0 blasting of Cayman Islands and then subbed in late and helped defend a 1-0 advantage over Panama.

She played most of Canada’s 1-0 loss to Mexico in the semi-finals, which was the only game the Canadians allowed a goal.

And finally, Melenhorst took the pitch for the second half of Canada’s 2-0 triumph over Puerto Rico on Saturday. The win gave Canada third place and the final ticket to the Aug. 10-28 FIFA Women’s Under-20 World Cup in Costa Rica.

The West Ottawa Soccer Club and Ontario Regional Excel Centre product now plays NCAA soccer for the University of Oklahoma Sooners.

Ottawa’s Rosa Maalouf was also selected to wear Canadian colours recently for the Feb. 28-March 6 Costa Cálida MIMA Cup in Spain with the under-17 women’s national team.

— Dan Plouffe

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated the age group of the Canadian national team Keera Melenhorst plays for in its headline, as well as how many minutes she played against Mexico. These were fixed on March 29.

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