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Controversial call helps USWNT down Mexico

Photo by Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports
Photo by Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports

Thanks to the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year and a questionable call in the penalty box, the U.S. Women’s National Team progressed to the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying semifinals on Saturday.

The Americans defeated Mexico, 1-0, after Carli Lloyd netted the game’s decisive goal following El Tri goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago’s penalty kick save.

The USWNT pinged the post a couple of times on Saturday, and the match looked destined to end scoreless as Mexico defended well all afternoon. Christen Press came close to breaking the deadlock in the 52nd minute when she smashed a shot across goal, but it hit Santiago’s right post and bounced back into play.

In the 80th minute, center official Melissa Borjas awarded the U.S. a penalty, calling a controversial handball in the box.

Lloyd stepped up and blasted a low shot on frame on the ensuing attempt, but Santiago made the crucial save. Unfortunately for her and Mexico, though, the ball bounced right into the path of Lloyd, who coolly tapped home the rebound.

In Saturday’s other Group A match-up, Costa Rica pummeled Puerto Rico, 9-0, to earn its first three points of the tournament. Costa Rica will face off against Mexico on Monday, while the U.S. will play Puerto Rico that same day.

Here are the highlights of the USWNT’s win:

What do you think of the USWNT’s win? What are your thoughts on the penalty kick decision? Who do you think will advance from Group A with the U.S.?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. It was a harsh foul but correct. I think the ref probably should have swallowed her whistle on that play but I’m not going to jump all over her for calling the handball because it was a handball.

  2. it’s woman’s soccer and you guys act like it has any real importance! Wman’s soccer is a cute idea but that’s all it is….so stop it.

    • Press probably should start against teams that we expect to bunker against us. She has a very quick shot from all angles. Horan should probably push up much higher as well.

  3. While replay shows it was more ball to hand, you have to take into account that the referee is not seeing it in slo-motion, nor from all angles.

    Ref sees extended arm deflect ball in the box…it’s not stretch to see how that would be whistled in real time.

    The PK in the CR game was far more egregious.

    That said, what the hell was that, ladies?

    Credit to Mexico for being super organized, but what the heck was the USWNT doing the last couple days? Did Ellis think they could just roll the ball out and win?

    On the bright side, the next two games should be walk-overs and into the Olympics they go. If not, then JE needs to give that Coach of the Year trophy back to FIFA.


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