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Castellanos leads Venezuela past Canada, into semis

Deyna Castellanos continues to shine as Venezuela beat Canada to advance to the U-17 FIFA Women's World Cup semifinals. (Photo: Getty Images/

Thursday may be looked at as a watershed moment in Venezuelan women’s soccer as the U-17 team has advanced to the World Cup semifinals with a 3-2 win over traditionally stronger Canada.

Deyna Castellanos opened the scoring for Venezuela in the 6th minute before Canada’s Sarah Kinzner equalized in the 19th minute. Canada would take the lead in the 40th minute through Marie Levasseur, but Yosneidy ]ambrano scored three minutes later to level the score at 2-2.

Gabriela Garcia ultimately scored the game-winning goal in the 62nd minute, beating Canada goalkeeper Rylee Foster at a nearly impossible near-post angle. [CLICK HERE FOR HIGHLIGHTS]

Castellanos is the leading scorer at the U-17 FIFA Women’s World Cup with five goals, and Garcia is tied for second with four goals in four games. And Castellanos? She is just 14 years old, turning 15 on April 18.

“Venezuela need something to celebrate and for me, when I wear this badge close to my heart, it’s like I’m carrying the Venezuelan people in my heart too,” Castellanos said in this feature. “I want to continue scoring, because every goal I score is for all Venezuelans.”

This is only the fourth-ever edition of the U-17 Women’s World Cup, but Castellanos is shaping up to be one of the best young finds in tournament history as a 14-year-old wunderkind.


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