The United States booked a date with either Jamaica or Mexico in the semifinals of CONCACAF’s World Cup qualifying by taking it to Haiti 6-0 at RFK Stadium in the nation’s capital.
The hosts put through a complete, 90 minute performance and never let off the gas as they torched the Haiti defensive unit known for its ability to sit back and absorb pressure.
Carli Lloyd nearly had the opener in the first minute of the game, but the flag went up after scoring, and replays showed she could have instead let a number of onsides teammates have the shot. The first-minute moment was, however, a foreshadow of how the match would go.
Carli and the US women did eventually strike first through Lloyd’s 53rd international goal eight minutes in. She collected a punch by Haiti keeper Geralda Saintilus and half-volleyed it home from about 12 yards out for the opener.
They continued to pummel Saintilus’s goal mouth in the first half hour, with a moment in the 28th minute where somehow the ball ping-pong’d around the box but didn’t end up in the back of the net. The United States earned corner after corner and looked to break through the defense again but Haiti held firm, bending but not breaking again.
The US was finally forced to do some emergency defending when Megan Rampinoe gave the ball away but the Haiti break had little to threaten Ashlyn Harris’s goal.
Eventually, the home side was rewarded again for its hard work seven minutes before halftime. Christen Press chipped a long ball from the midfield into the box, where Abby Wambach was one-on-one with Roselord Borgello.
The Hatian defender initially won the aerial duel, but she couldn’t get a full clear to the ball and instead touched it straight to Wambach’s feet and the American poked it home to 172nd career international goal.
The floodgates opened after halftime, as the US poured it on despite Haiti trying to sit deeper and deeper as they continued to tire.
Meghan Klingenberg scored an absolute howitzer – her first national goal – to make it 3-0 after a Christina Press cross wasn’t cleared well and fell right to the US left-back at the edge of the box. Abby Wambach picked up her second of the match four minutes later when Carli Lloyd’s ball in was poorly cleared and it fell to Wambach who poked home from point blank range.
The US brought on relief from the bench in the form of Sydney LeRoux, and she instantly got into the thick of things. Press grabbed one of her own to make it 5-0, and the attack looked to target a streaking LeRoux on multiple occasions in front of net. The 24-year-old but a brilliant move on Hatian defenders in the box on 80 minutes but Saintilus made a great save to keep her out.
21-year-old substitute and University of Virginia player Morgan Brian added a sixth on a great run and cross by Press with eight minutes to go.
United States: Harris; Klingenberg, Engen, Rampone, O’Hara; Holiday, Rapinoe, Lloyd; Heath (Brian 61′), Wambach (LeRoux 61′), Press.
Goals: Lloyd 8′; Wambach 38′, 60′; Klingenberg 56′; Press 64′; Brian 82′
Haiti: Saintilus; Rateau, Marseille, Borgella, Gervil; Hudson; Jean Pierre, Robuste, Brand, Zullo; Boulos.