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USWNT rolls to win over Canada, wins Concacaf Olympic qualifying tournament

Lynn Williams, Lindsey Horan and Megan Rapinoe each scored second half goals for the Americans as the USWNT won the Concacaf Olympic qualifying tournament without conceding a goal.

CARSON, Calif. — The 2020 Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Championship concluded with the U.S. women’s national team earning a 3-0 win over Canada at Dignity Health Sports Park.

The match drew an announced crowd of 17,489 as the USWNT shut out their biggest Concacaf rival.

Lynn Williams, Lindsey Horan and Megan Rapinoe each scored second half goals for the Americans. 

Alyssa Naeher made three saves to earn the clean sheet for the U.S. The USWNT finish the qualifying tournament without conceding a goal while outscoring opponents 25-0.

With the win, the U.S. improves to 50-3-7 against Canada. The last time the Canadians beat the Americans was March 11, 2001. 

Christen Press had the best opportunity to open the scoring during the first 45 minutes. The in form forward was looking for a goal in her seventh consecutive match when she hammered the ball off Canada’s crossbar in the 33rd minute.

As the crowd chanted, “Press,” “Press,” the Utah Royals FC product had another opportunity to score moments later. Stephanie Labbé turned the ball over and Press attempted to chip the Canadian goalkeeper from beyond distance only to see her shot miss the target.

The Concacaf Golden Ball Award winner summed up the performance of the USWNT.

“I think it was a good tournament,” Press told reporters after the match. “The way I see this is as the first games of the year. It’s the foundation, the important thing is that we as a team take this performance and say that’s the minimum, and we keep getting better. That’s the way we approached last year going into the World Cup. For the first five games, we made good growth. If we continue on that trajectory that’s going to be really positive.”

The first half was a physical battle as neither side wanted to surrender the opening goal. Canada looked to impose itself against the speed of the U.S. midfield.

What sort of adjustment did the Americans make to break through Canada’s defence in the second half?

“I actually think they didn’t do much to adjust through,” Sinclair admitted. “We made three individual mistakes and we gave them three goals. I thought we played a pretty even first half. We dominated possession, but against a team like that you can’t give them goals and we did that today.”

Sophie Schmidt was an instrumental part of Canada’s stout back-line. The converted midfielder was happy with how Canada was able to fend off the U.S. early on.

“I thought we came out really strong and weathered the storm.” Schmidt explained. “The U.S. is notorious for scoring goals early and we denied them that opportunity. We kept ourselves in the game and we had some great chances. I thought we were very courageous in how we played out of pockets. You don’t see that kind of performance against the U.S. very often. One mistake, and they bury it. It kind of took the wind out of our sails. I’m so proud of our team performance up to that point.”

The Americans were able to break through for the opening goal of the match in the 60th minute off a Canada turnover. Jayde Riviere, 19, had the ball nicked off her by a streaking Lynn Williams. The North Carolina Courage midfielder fired a cracker top corner on Labbé.

“I saw space in behind,” Williams explained to Pro Soccer USA post-match. “Crystal (Dunn) shifted over. I didn’t get there initially, but I knew with the speed on the ball, her (Riviere) only option was to play it down to me. She passed it right to me.”

The Americans were able to break through for the opening goal of the match in the 60th minute off a Canada turnover. Jayde Riviere, 19, had the ball nicked off her by a streaking Lynn Williams. The North Carolina Courage midfielder fired a cracker top corner on Labbé.

The U.S. continued to generate more scoring opportunities and the Americans quickly added to their tally in the 71st minute. 

Williams whipped a cross into the Canada box. Horan was left unmarked as she sent her shot past the out-stretched Labbé.

Canada had a second half to forget with multiple untimely turnovers. 

The USWNT added another goal in the 87th minute. Williams earned her second assist of the match when she played a through ball to Rapinoe. The 2019 FIFA Player of the Year was one on one with Labbé and she calmly put the ball away for a 3-0 U.S. lead.

A strong first half from Canada wasn’t enough as the U.S. was able to flip a switch and strike for three unanswered goals. The focus going forward will be Tokyo 2020 after both teams earned a spot at the summer Olympics with semifinal wins on Friday.

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