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USWNT to face Mexico in deciding match for Olympic spot

If the USWNT wants to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, they need to beat Mexico.

Megan Rapinoe prepares to take a free kick for the USWNT in Charlotte, N.C. vs. South Korea on Oct. 3, 2019. (Mitchell Northam / Pro Soccer USA)

The path for the U.S. women’s national team to book a spot in the 2020 Olympics is now clear.

The USWNT, which topped Group A in the ongoing Concacaf Olympic qualifying tournament, will face Mexico on Friday in the semifinal round. Because two Concacaf teams will earn spots at Tokyo 2020, the semifinal round will determine if the USWNT clinches a spot. The U.S. steamrolled through the group stage, finishing on a 6-0 won over Costa Rica on Monday.

On the other side of the bracket, Group B leader Canada will face Costa Rica, also on Friday, to decide which team heads to Tokyo. Canada beat Mexico on Tuesday, 2-0, in the final day of the tournament’s group stage.

A final match will be played Sunday between the two teams that advance past the semifinals, but there will be nothing on the line as both teams will have already secured their spot in Tokyo.

In women’s soccer, the Olympics is a full senior team event, unlike on the men’s side, so the USWNT’s defending World Cup champions are vying for the chance to win back-to-back world events. No team has ever won a Women’s World Cup and then won an Olympic gold medal the following year.

Here is the schedule for the remainder of the qualification tournament:

Friday, Feb. 7, 2020 at Dignity Health Sports Park, Los Angeles
7 p.m. ET: Canada (1B) vs. Costa Rica (2A)
10 p.m. ET: United States (1A) vs. Mexico (2B)

Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020 at Dignity Health Sports Park, Los Angeles
6 p.m. ET: Winner SF1 vs Winner SF2

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