Venezuela reaches new heights

[UNDER-17 WOMEN'S WORLD CUP] Venezuela is making a name for itself as a rising South America women's power under Panamanian coach Kenneth Zseremeta, who has led the Vinotinto into the semifinals of the Under-17 Women’s World Cup.

Venezuela, a 3-2 winner over Canada, will meet Japan in Monday's semifinals in Costa Rica. The second game of the doubleheader will be an all-European affair: Spain-Italy.

Quarterfinals:
Venezuela 3 Canada 2
Italy 2 Ghana 2
(Italy won 4-3 on penalties)
Japan 2 Mexico 0
Spain 3 Nigeria 0

Venezuela, had never reached the final eight of a FIFA tournament at any level, came from 2-1 down after conceding its first goals of the tournament to beat Canada on goals by 14-year-old Deyna Castellanos, Yosneidy Zambrano and Gabriela Garcia, who assisted on Castellanos' opening goal.

Castellanos, whose goal was her tournament-leading fifth in four games, started playing when she was 4 years old after her brother's coach saw her kicking a ball around. She asked her parents if she could practice with her brother's team, and she was soon scoring goals. Castellanos now plays for a school operated by Venezuelan star Juan Arango, who plays for Borussia Moenchengladbach in Germany.

Reflecting the diversity of Venezuelan women's soccer, Escuela Juan Arango is one of 19 different programs represented on the 21-player U-17 roster.
1 comment about "Venezuela reaches new heights".
  1. David Crowther, March 29, 2014 at 3:43 p.m.

    The Castellanos-Garcia attacking duo has been unstoppable in this cup, racking up 9 goals between them. They are lightning fast, physically tough, have great ball skills and can seemingly put the ball in the net from almost any angle. They also combine very well, having provided most the assists on each other's goals. Canada dominated possession in most of that game, but simply couldn’t stop Venezuela’s terrible two and were lucky not to lose by more. Of course they now face their biggest challenge because Japan has not only yet to give up a goal, but has hardly allowed any real scoring chances to any of its opponents.

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