The U.S. Women's National Team faced a tougher test than expected, but ultimately the Americans proved too tough for underdog Costa Rica and eventually punched their ticket to the Summer Olympics.
A first-half goal by Tobin Heath gave the U.S. women the lead and despite a courageous fight from the Costa Ricans, the United States held that one-goal lead before Carli Lloyd blasted home an insurance goal in the second half to give the Americans a 3-0 victory in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying semifinals in Vancouver.
Alex Morgan provided the third goal for the United States, which posted its fourth shutout of the tournament.
The victory secured the United States' place in the 2012 London Olympics, and moved the United States into the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament Final on Sunday against the winner of Canada/Mexico.
The Americans were the bigger and stronger side on Friday, putting serious pressure on the Costa Rica defense, particularly in the penalty area, but Costa Rica's quickness and technical ability allowed the underdogs to frustrate the United States unlike any of the U.S. team's three previous opponents.
What did you think of the United States' victory on Friday? Disappointed with their performance, or happy to see them qualify for the Olympics? Impressed with Costa Rica?
Share your thoughts below.
When you overly compliment the 41st place side, you dismiss your own poor performance and indicate an early dismissal from Olympic play is highly likely.
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I thought the US got pretty unsettled when CR upped the pressure in the first half and got more physical. It was not until after half-time when the coaches presumably told them to play quicker, fight back and apply pressure on CR that they gained control of the game. I expect that players at this level would be able to make those simple adjustments on their own and not have to wait for half-time to get it figured out. If CR were a better team, the US failure to assert themselves and apply more pressure to CR in the first half could have had them in a much more uncomfortable place.
I haven’t actually watched the highlight clip yet, but this should do the trick:
Anyone know where I can watch some highlights?
Actually, this was her “A” team with the exception of Tobin Heath (for Arod) and Kelly O’Hara (who was in for injured Ali Krieger).
I did appreciate that she spread the minutes around throughout the tournament, but this team has the same issues from the backline through the midfield. And Abby and Boxx both looked exhausted. I hope she gives some others minutes in the final, as we’ve already qualified. And then she’d better cap some new center mids and a defender or two ASAP.
Her goal was a really sweet outside left flick. And she did all the work herself. A great goal.
Once again suspect officiating, for example, when Alvarado threw a fist at Cheney. Boxxy played pretty cheeky as well, and probably should have seen yellow.
Thought Sauerbrunn would be the full time starter after Krieger got hurt.
Congratulations to them! Its nice to see this team be so consistent. I hope they come back with gold, and get a real boost for the league and soccer in general in the US.
I thought we were shaky but honestly, it looks like Pia was resting some the more talented starters and spreading around the field time to ensure a stronger pool in the long run.
I’ll take the shakiness to build a stronger program over all.
And we need a stronger left back.