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USWNT beats Canada in Concacaf Olympic qualifying final

After securing its trip to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo on Friday, the U.S. Women’s National Team went on to win its first trophy of the new year.

In Sunday’s CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Final, Vlatko Andonovski’s side earned a 3-0 win over Canada in Carson, Cali. It was the team’s fifth-consecutive tournament finals win after outscoring its opponents 25-0 in this year’s edition.

Much was made of Andonovski’s decision to make six changes from the lineup that beat Mexico 2-0 just two days prior, and the match started slow for the Americans. The team only registered a pair of shots on goal in the opening half, both ambitious opportunities from Christen Press that went awry as the teams battled to a scoreless first half.

Things picked up quickly for the tournament favorites however as the USWNT put up a barrage of second-half attempts on the Canadian backline that stood sturdy early on.

It took an hour, but the deadlock was finally broken on a play where Lynn Williams dispossessed a defender in the box and subsequently rifled a shot past Canadian keeper Stephanie Labbé on the far-post side.

The lead was doubled in the 71st minute when Samantha Mewis crossed a ball into the box, Williams knocked it down for Lindsey Horan, who took a touch and blasted it past Labbé from close-range.

The goal was Horan’s sixth of the tournament.

Megan Rapinoe iced the match in the 87th minute after receiving the ball on the break in-stride from Williams. The winger set up her own shot in the box and beat an isolated Labbé with a low, driven shot.

Both teams could meet again in Tokyo later this summer after earning Concacaf’s only two qualification spots.

Up next for the USWNT is the SheBelieves Cup next month. It will open up play against World Cup semifinalists England on March 5th in Orlando.


  1. I liked coach Andonovski’s strategy of playing 6 reserves in this match as there was only 1 days rest between matches. While Canada started their best team, they looked good for the first half, and then fatigue set in and the U.S. began to dominate the field of play.

    Special recognition should go to GK Alyssa Naeher who stuffed Canada Star Christine Sinclair on a breakaway when the match was still scoreless. That was Alyssa’s most spectacular moment since she blocked the PK against England in the W/C.

    Also, Christen Press continued to impress as she sent a rocket from about 35 yards out that barely hit the cross bar and bounced down. Had that gone in, it would have been the most spectacular goal of the tournament. But for Christen, there were other major moments: Against Costa Rica she scored from distance with both her left and right foot. Then Against Mexico, after a close-in shot was blocked by the GK, and the ball came back to her, she deftly chipped the ball over the GK’s head and into the goal. I can’t begin to emphasize how difficult it is to execute a shot like that with defenders and the GK surrounding you. For a long time Christen, despite her speed and bullet-like shot, had difficulty finishing the play. Now she is scoring on almost half her shots. Certainly, the most improved player on the team!!!

    As I have commented on before, the USWNT midfield is the strongest in the history of the sport and so dominates the matches, that you can count the number of scoring opportunities any other team will have against them on one hand. In fact, Since the semi-final of the World Cup, I can remember only one goal being scored against them and that was by South Korea.

    The She Believes Cup should give us a good idea of just how strong we will look in the Olympics. But at this point, things look a WHOLE LOT better than in 2016.


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