MONTERREY, Mexico (July 18, 2022) – The U.S. Women’s National Team downed Canada 1-0 to win the Concacaf W Championship and earn a spot in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. A penalty kick goal from forward Alex Morgan in the second half sealed the game for the United States to cap off a thrilling attacking performance in front of 17,247 fans. For her performance throughout the tournament which included three goals, Morgan was awarded the Golden Ball as the best player in the competition.
After winning its sixth Olympic Qualifying tournament, the USA becomes just the second nation to earn a berth into the Olympic Women’s Soccer Tournament at Paris ’24, joining hosts France. Canada will now play Jamaica — which beat Costa Rica 1-0 in stoppage time in the Third-Place match — in a playoff series in September of 2023 to determine the region’s second and final representative at the Olympic Games.
The match got off to a fiery start as forward Mallory Pugh forced a save with a thunderous strike just 45 seconds into the match after a darting run into the right side of the penalty box, setting the stage for a match that would be chock full of dangerous chances for the Americans. In the fourth minute, forward Sophia Smith shielded the ball with quality work on a dribble at the top of the box and found Morgan in the left side of the penalty area. Morgan fired a curled shot toward the right post, but it went wide.
Midfielder Lindsey Horan came close to scoring in the 14th minute with an impressive falling half-volley from just inside the penalty box that barely missed the goal. Canada answered with a dangerous chance of their own courtesy of forward Nichelle Smith, who dribbled into the box from the left flank and took a shot which was deflected over the bar and out for a corner.
Pugh had an attempt saved after a valiant solo run which started at midfield, while another breakaway sparked by Horan in the 38th resulted in a chance for Pugh that went just wide. In the final moments of the half, Horan laid the ball off to defender Sofia Huerta on the wing and she sent a driven low cross into the six-yard box, where Smith connected but was met by an excellent reflex save from Canada goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan, who played an excellent match.
The USA kept up the pressure in the second half and knocked on the door again in the 64th after Morgan played a perfectly weighted through-ball from midfield to meet Smith on the run. She rounded the ‘keeper toward the left and fired from inside the box, but her shot went wide on the near post as she lost her footing. Two minutes later, Lavelle put a powerful strike on frame from the top of the box, but Sheridan made the save.
In the 75th minute, Lavelle was fouled from behind inside the box by Canada defender Allysha Chapman, earning the USA a penalty kick. Morgan stepped up to the spot, where she calmly took a few deep breaths before burying her shot past her NWSL teammate Sheridan, who dove in the opposite direction. The goal marked Morgan’s 118th of her career and just her third from the penalty spot.
Canada put together some quality possession at times during the match, but the USA team defense, and especially the back line of Sofia Huerta, Alana Cook, Becky Sauerbrunn and Emily Fox, did well to keep some talented Canadian attackers in front of them all night, severely limiting any truly dangerous scoring changes.
Canada strung together a few dangerous chances in the final minutes, but goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher was up for the challenge to deny them, including one from forward Julia Grosso in the sixth minute of stoppage time. With the victory, USA finishes the tournament with five wins in five matches and without allowing a single goal. The team is now unbeaten in its last 19 matches since the loss to Canada in the Olympic semifinal and extends its current win streak to 12 consecutive matches.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
- USA – Alex Morgan (Penalty Kick), 78th minute – After Rose Lavelle was brought down inside the box, Morgan stepped up to the penalty spot and calmly fired low into the corner as the goalkeeper went in the opposite direction. USA 1, CAN 0
- Forward Alex Morgan’s goal marked her third of the tournament, third of the year, and 118th of her career.
- The goal was also Morgan’s 10th career goal against Canada and first since she scored against Canada in the championship game of World Cup qualifying in 2018.
- Morgan’s goal was the only goal that Canada has conceded throughout the entire tournament.
- Tonight’s match marks three consecutive games between USA and Canada where first goal was scored in 75th minute or later. In the 2021 SheBelieves Cup, Rose Lavelle lifted the USA to victory with a goal in the 79th minute while Jessie Fleming converted the decisive penalty kick in the 75th minute in the Aug. 2, 2021, meeting between the countries in the Olympic semifinal.
- The USA improves to 52-4-7 all-time against Canada, including a perfect 9-0-1 against the Canadians in Concacaf Finals.
- The USA has an overall combined record of 60-1-1 in World Cup and Olympic Qualifying matches. The USA’s only draw in World Cup or Olympic Qualifying officially came in the final of the 2008 Olympic Qualifying Tournament against Canada, though the USA prevailed on penalty kicks to win the tournament.
- The USA has won all six Olympic qualifying tournaments in which it has participated and has won eight of the nine World Cup qualifying tournaments in which it competed, the lone blemish coming in the 2010 Concacaf Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament, the USA fell to Mexico in the semifinal in Cancun, Mexico and Canada defeated Mexico in the championship game.
- Head coach Vlatko Andonovski is 39-2-6 in 47 games (two at the end of 2019, nine in 2020, 24 in 2021, and 12 so far in 2022).
-U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT-
Match:United States Women’s National Team vs. Canada
Date: July 18, 2022
Competition: Concacaf W Championship
Venue: Estadio BBVA; Guadalupe, Mexico
Kickoff: 10 p.m. ET (9 p.m. local)
Weather: 92 degrees; clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
CAN 0 0 0
USA – Alex Morgan (Penalty Kick) 78th minute
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 8-Sofia Huerta, 3-Alana Cook, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Capt.), 19-Emily Fox; 17-Andi Sullivan, 10-Lindsey Horan, 16-Rose Lavelle (20-Taylor Kornieck, 90+2); 9-Mallory Pugh (6-Trinity Rodman, 89), 13-Alex Morgan (12-Naomi Girma, 89), 11-Sophia Smith (23-Midge Purce, 89)
Substitutes not used: 18-Casey Murphy, 21-Aubrey Kingsbury, 2-Ashley Sanchez, 5-Kelley O’Hara, 14-Emily Sonnett, 15-Megan Rapinoe, 22-Kristie Mewis, 24-Sam Coffey
Head coach: Vlatko Andonovski
CAN: 1-Kailen Sheridan; 8-Jayde Riviere (2-Allysha Chapman, 61), 3-Kadeisha Buchanan, 14-Vanessa Gilles, 10-Ashley Lawrence; 17-Jessie Fleming, 11-Desiree Scott, 12-Christine Sinclair (Capt.) (9-Jordyn Huitema, 68), 5-Quinn (7-Julia Grosso, 57); 16-Janine Beckie, 15-Nichelle Prince (19-Adriana Leon, 68)
Substitutes not used: 18-Sabrina D’Angelo, 22-Lysianne Proulx, 4-Shelina Zadorsky, 6-Deanne Rose, 13-Sophie Schmidt, 20-Cloé Lacasse, 21-Zoe Burns, 23-Bianca St-Georges
Head coach: Beverly Priestman
Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 17 / 11
Shots on Goal: 6 / 5
Saves: 5 / 5
Corner Kicks: 7 / 1
Fouls: 4 / 6
Offside: 1 / 1
USA – Lindsey Horan (Caution) 41st minute
CAN – Christine Sinclair (Caution) 46
Referee: Katia Garcia (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Mayte Chavez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Enedina Caudillo (MEX)
4th Official: Odette Hamilton (JAM)
5th Official: Karen Diaz (MEX)
VAR: Tatiana Guzman (NCA)
AVAR: Melissa Borjas Pastrana (HON)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Alex Morgan