2020 CONCACAF Olympic qualification

Canada women
KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images

Mexico falls to Canada, will meet USWNT for Olympic berth

Leave a comment

Mexico is the final obstacle between the USWNT and another trip to the Olympics.

Canada defeated Mexico 2-0 on Tuesday to win CONCACAF Olympic qualifying Group B and earn a semifinal scrap with Costa Rica.

The Yanks will meet Mexico at 10 p.m. ET Friday in the semifinal stage after cruising through Group A.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

New international goals record holder Christine Sinclair scored to stretch the standard to 186, while defender Shelina Zadorsky scored her second.

Mexico’s improved a great deal in recent seasons, but lost to the USMNT 3-0 on May 26, 2019.

The semifinal winners meet Sunday in the final, both having clinched places in Tokyo.

Sinclair broke Abby Wambach’s record on Jan. 29.

USWNT wins Olympic qualifying group with Costa Rica rout (video)

USWNT
Omar Vega / Getty Images
Leave a comment

The United States women’s national team played its final dress rehearsal.

Now it has to win.

The USWNT beat Costa Rica 6-0 on Monday in the final group stage match of Olympic qualifying, setting up a Friday night semifinal versus Canada or Mexico.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

The two winners of the semifinals go to the Olympics regardless of who wins the final. The losers don’t even get a set of steak knives.

Christen Press and Sam Mewis scored twice, with Lindsey Horan and Jessica McDonald also scoring in the blowout.

Press’ goal was her 55th with the national team, one shy of the all-time Top Ten.

The Yanks had already qualified for the semifinal stage by beating Haiti 4-0 and clobbering Panama 8-0.

The math says 18-0 over three matches.

Now they’ll await the loser of Wednesday nights’s Group B decider between Canada and Mexico.

A draw would mean Mexico, as Canada has outscored its foes 20-0 and presents a much more significant obstacle to Tokyo.

USWNT opens Olympic qualifying with win over Haiti

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The USWNT was rusty, that much was clear. Vlatko Andonovski still made sure they took care of business.

Four different goalscorers delivered a 4-0 victory over Haiti to begin CONCACAF Olympic qualification, putting the United States in front of Group A early. Lynn Williams picked up a goal and assist, proving useful on an otherwise sputtery evening for Vlatko Andonovski’s attack.

Just 78 seconds into the game, Williams charged down the right flank and crossed to Christen Press at the far post for the opening goal. Williams’ assist came without the use of her left shoe which she lost while holding off a defender for the bobbling ball.

Despite the early lead, the United States seemed somewhat sluggish as Haiti built themselves into the match. There were few chances on net after the opening goal through the half-hour mark.

Haiti nearly caught the U.S. napping on a corner as the ball found the back of the net on 20 minutes, but the goal was somehow ruled out. It appeared to be for offside, but since it’s impossible to be offside from a corner, there must have been another reason for the official ruling. Nonetheless, it was a clear sign for the USWNT that they needed to pick up the level of play.

The U.S. continued to struggle after halftime, creating very little in front of net. There was a half-chance for Lloyd near the penalty spot but a quality tackle by Kethna Louis put that to bed. Then finally they put the game to bed on a corner, not coincidentally coming just five minutes after Megan Rapinoe entered the fray. Rapinoe delivered a corner to the doorstep where Williams headed in well under pressure, moving her upper body away from goal against the motion of her lower body to reach the delivery.

Another Andonovski substitute paid dividends however as Lindsey Horan scored, again coming off a corner. They played it short and Horan headed from a significant distance out, the ball squirting past the goalkeeper Kerly Theus and Louis who tried to clear off the line. It was clear that Haiti had begun to tire and the USWNT was taking advantage. Up front, Carli Lloyd had a poor game, unable to get involved in attacking play, but she found the scoresheet in stoppage time, bagging a header off a Rapinoe cross in the 93rd minute to finish out the scoring.

Emily Sonnett replaced Kelley O’Hara with 10 minutes to go for Andonovski’s final change, and the USWNT saw the rest of the match out. They have two matches remaining before the knockout stage, set to take on Panama on Friday before the group stage finale against Costa Rica on February 3. The top two teams in the group reach the knockout phase with the semifinals to begin on February 7.