The United States women’s national team defeated Costa Rica 3-0 on Thursday to advance to the final of the CONCACAF W Championship in Monterrey, Mexico, where they will face Canada in a repeat of last summer’s Olympic team semifinals.
Having already secured a place at the 2023 Women’s World Cup by reaching the semi-finals of the tournament, the Americans now have their turn to secure a place at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris when they win the W championship win.
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The USWNT lost 1-0 to eventual gold medalists Canada in the semifinals of the COVID-delayed 2020 Olympics, held in Tokyo last summer.
The USA kept Costa Rica under pressure for the first half hour and eventually scored their first goal when Emily Sonnett fired the ball over the line after a mad scramble in front of the net.
Rose Lavelle’s skillful heel pass into the box gave Mallory Pugh a clear view of the Costa Rica goal just before half-time and the USA No. 9 made no mistake with his finish to lead Vlatko Andonovski’s side 2-0 at the break .
Sophia Smith missed a huge chance just before the 60th minute and fired wide from the left flank after a good build-up game by the USA.
Ashley Sanchez adds third-place finish for the USWNT in second-half added time and next meets Canada, who beat Jamaica 3-0 in the other semifinal, in Monday night’s CONCACAF W Championship decider.
The United States have won the last two World Cups, but they go into next summer’s tournament in Australia and New Zealand with a different look. Andonovski has focused on developing young talent since winning the bronze medal at last year’s Olympics, and up-and-coming players like Smith and Pugh have cracked the starting line-up.
A few veterans remain, including Alex Morgan and Becky Sauerbrunn, both of whom started on Thursday. Morgan had the team’s best chances early on with one of her chances, a left-footed shot that went wide left in the 13th minute.
For Costa Rica, Noelia Bermudez made the first tournament start in goal. Costa Rica won their first two group games before losing 2-0 to Canada on Monday.
In addition to four straight places in the World Cup, third-place finishers in both groups of the W Championship, Panama and Haiti, progressed to an intercontinental playoff in New Zealand in February.
Associated Press information was used in this story.
https://www.espn.com/soccer/report?gameId=648297 United States vs. Costa Rica – Football Match Report – July 14, 2022