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US beats Canada for W Championship title, ’24 Olympic berth

Alex Morgan converted a penalty in the 78th minute and the USA beat Canada 1-0 in the CONCACAF W Championship on Monday to secure a spot at the 2024 Olympics.

MONTERREY, Mexico — Alex Morgan converted a penalty in the 78th minute and the U.S. national team won the CONCACAF W Championship 1-0 against Canada on Monday night to secure one of the region’s spots at the 2024 Olympics.

In front of FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who watched from a private box, the United States finally broke a stalemate when Rose Lavelle was fouled in the box and Morgan fooled Canadian goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan from the penalty spot. It was Morgan’s 118th career goal overall.

Jamaica defeated Costa Rica 1-0 in overtime on Monday to secure third place in the tournament.

The four semi-finalists have all previously earned spots at next summer’s 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Runners-up Canada will face Jamaica in September 2023 in a playoff for the region’s other Olympic bid.

Since losing 2-1 to Mexico before the 2011 World Cup, the United States are now 33-0 in World Cup or Olympic qualifiers.

The game was a repeat of the Olympic semifinals in Tokyo a year ago. Canada beat the USA 1-0 on a late penalty shootout to reach the final, their first win over the Americans in 20 years.

The Canadians won the gold medal on penalties against Sweden. The US team finished with bronze.

Alyssa Naeher was in goal for the United States in place of Casey Murphy, who started the final game of the tournament. Defense attorney Emily Fox also returned to the lineup from COVID-19 protocol.

At the beginning of the game at the Estadio BBVA, the temperatures fluctuated around 90 degrees. Sheridan had a great save in the 31st minute when Mallory Pugh made a collapse down the right flank and fired a hard shot on goal.

She made another in the 45th with an assist from teammate Kadeisha Buchanan in Sophia Smith’s scramble to score at the goal line. Smith had another chance in the 64th but it went wide.

Canada had a number of late chances, including a header from Jordyn Huitema that went wide.

Kalyssa van Zanten scored in the 102nd minute to give Jamaica the advantage in the earlier game. Van Zanten, who plays for Notre Dame, came on as a substitute in the 99th minute and scored after a well-placed pass from Drew Spence.

“I spoke to her before she went in and told her there was a goal in those boots and she nodded at me and that gave her some confidence,” said Jamaica coach Lorne Donaldson, who started the Reggae Girlz last month amidst upheavals.

Costa Rica had perhaps their best opportunity in the first half when Melissa Herrera found a solo effort against Jamaican goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer, but her shot went wide.

Rocky Rodriguez, who plays for the Portland Thorns of the National Women’s Soccer League, hit the post with a shot in added time and the game went into overtime.

Costa Rica lost 3-0 to the United States in the semifinals, while Jamaica lost 3-0 to Canada. Jamaica and Costa Rica have each attended a World Cup.

The United States has attended every World Cup since the tournament began in 1991. The Americans have four titles, including the last two in 2015 and 2019.

https://www.king5.com/article/sports/soccer/us-beats-canada-for-w-championship-title-24-olympic-berth/281-b7a24db6-292f-4895-97e6-1c27c941dd16 US beats Canada for W Championship title, ’24 Olympic berth

Emma Bowman

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