- Associated Press - Thursday, February 11, 2016

HOUSTON (AP) - Ashley Lawrence scored two of his three goals in a minute span in the second half, and Canada routed Guyana 5-0 on Thursday night to open the group stage of the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament.

Lawrence scored in the 29th minute, then added two more in the 47th and 48th for the Canadians, who are seeking one of the two Olympic spots up for grabs in the North and Central America and Caribbean region. The eight-team tournament runs through Feb 1.

Sixteen-year-old Deanne Rose scored off a corner kick in the 25th minute, her first goal for the national team, then added a second in the 40th minute.

Lawrence, a 20-year-old who plays for West Virginia, was named player of the match.

Canada is one of the favorites in the tournament, playing in a group that includes Trinidad and Tobago and Guatemala. The U.S. women’s national team is another, playing in an opposite group with Mexico, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica.

Ranked No. 11 in the world, Canada improved to 9-0-0 in CONCACAF Olympic qualifying matches. Canada was the bronze medalist at the 2012 London Games, defeating France 1-0.

Canada also hosted the Women’s World Cup last summer, eliminated by upstart England quarterfinals. The U.S. women won.

The team’s qualifying roster includes captain Christine Sinclair, who remained tied with American Mia Hamm for second on the career women’s scoring list with 158 goals.

Sinclair, who played for the University of Portland and currently is on the roster for the NWSL’s Portland Thorns, has 232 international appearances.

Sinclair left the match in the final minutes while trainers examined her right calf, and Canada played out the game a player down. She finished with two assists.

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