USWNT tops CONCACAF Olympic Qualifiers with win over Canada

USWNT Olympic Champs

by DAVE MARTINEZ

The best team in the world once again proved their regional dominance as the U.S. Women’s National Team beat Canada 2-0, finishing atop the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament for the fourth time in a row.

A scoreless encounter took a turn to the U.S. as midfielders Lindsey Horan and Tobin Heath scored in the second half, putting the USWNT over Canada in a third consecutive Olympic qualifying final.

Both teams had already qualified for the Olympics prior to the final encounter.

Horan broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute, heading home a close challenge from Becky Sauerbrunn to put the USWNT ahead. Eight minutes later, 17-year-old wunderkind Mallory Pugh continued her strong run through the tournament, dribbling through the midfield and finding Heath on the far side, where she nailed a shot in the upper right corner to put the match out of reach.

While the USWNT fielded a similar XI to their semifinal roster, Canadian coach John Herdman sat several regulars and standouts, including Christine Sinclair, Deanne Rose, Erin McLeod, Diana Matheson, Sophie Schmidt and 16-year-old striker Deanne Rose. The U.S. took advantage, dominating through most facets of the match.

Shutting out the entire Olympic qualifying field, the U.S. women also earned individual recognitions for Hope Solo (Golden Glove), Morgan Brian (Golden Ball) and Crystal Dunn (Golden Boot).

The Olympic group stage begins on August 3rd.