Thursday, 27 February, 2020

U.S. women beat Canada 3-0 in Olympic soccer qualifying final

Soccer CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Mexico at USA ASN: A look at the USWNT and its Olympic clinching win vs Mexico
Rhonda Reese | 11 February, 2020, 00:26

"Costa Rica made it hard for us all game but we dominated and just couldn't put the ball in the back of the net", said Sinclair, whose career worldwide goal tally stands at 185.

The victory means the eighth-ranked Canadian women can now work toward a third straight podium finish at the Games, following bronze-medal performances in London in 2012 and Rio in 2016.

When on form, they're too much for nearly any adversary to keep pace with - and Andonovski can always turn to his stacked bench to sustain the carnage, as he did with the introduction of Lindsey Horan on Friday.

It marked a 14th win for Canada in 14 meetings against Costa Rica, but the victors were made to earn their Tokyo ticket as their opponents, ranked 37th, came out determined to end their losing streak. "When we got it in there, we didn't have space enough to actually turn on the pass, and it was a little bit too slow, so their centre back was stepping onto us". Horan doubled it 10 minutes later when she dribbled around two defenders and finished with a perfectly placed shot that Labbe couldn't reach.

"I think after the World Cup past year, which was disappointing and then a tough fall, I think the performances we've put in at this tournament have been nothing short of incredible", said Canada goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe. "We just couldn't put the ball in the back of the net".

The Americans had several good scoring chances in the second half. In a freaky move in the 64th minute, he took out Jessie Fleming, a key cog in Canada's midfield, and brought in forward Deanne Rose.

Canada didn't score but pressured the Costa Ricans for much of the first half.

"We needed someone to break the line".

Adriana Leon, who scored four goals in the opener against St. Kitts and Nevis did not play against Costa Rica.

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"It's a relief to have qualified, it's definitely a big deal to get to the Olympics", Heiner-Moller said.

At the time many of us thought it was the dawn of a new era, a sign that El Tri Feminil were finally asserting themselves in the women's game like they have for so long on the men's side. Ashley Lawrence, Beckie and Rose combined for some nice passing down the right wing. But it was nearly more frustration for Canada, as the 18-year-old initially hit the post. Substitute Rose made her impact on the game with a great feed into the box for Huitema. The rebound caromed right back to the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder, and with Costa Rican keeper Maria Bermudez out of position, Huitema calmly slotted the ball in with her left foot.

Press says she's hasn't changed a thing.

Canadian captain Christine Sinclair was kept in check by the Costa Ricans after becoming the all-time top scorer in worldwide soccer in the tournament opener, breaking the mark held by American Abby Wambach when she netted twice in an 11-0 rout of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Jordyn Huitema, 18, wasn't even born when Sinclair scored her first goal for Canada in 2000.

Canada seemed to sense the urgency in the second half.

Sinclair was booked in the fourth minute for leading with an arm in an aerial clash with defender Mariana Benavides that left both players temporarily dazed.

Canada cleared a risky Costa Rica free kick in the 41st minute and the teams were scoreless at the half. Labbé made her second start of the tournament and earned her 34th career clean sheet. Neither had conceded a goal.

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