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MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) — Alex Morgan scored a pair of first-half goals and the U.S. women’s national soccer team (USWNT) defeated Haiti 3-0 on Monday night in the opening match of the 2022 CONCACAF W Championship.
The tournament determines the region’s four direct berths in the 2023 Women’s World Cup, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand. The winner of the tournament will also qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Midge Purce also scored for the United States, which has won the past two World Cups.
Morgan opened scoring for the U.S. in the 16th minute with a heel flick off a pass from Mallory Pugh that got past Haiti goalkeeper Lara Larco.
Morgan’s second goal came on a header in the 23rd minute.
Haiti was awarded a penalty in the 42nd but Roselord Borgella’s attempt hit the post and caromed away. Borgella was handed a red card in the 45th, but video review rescinded the call and she was given a yellow.
The United States appeared to score on an own goal in the 78th, but Megan Rapinoe, who will be missing the next USWNT game in order to accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom, was ruled offside. Purce scored her fourth international goal in the 84th.
U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski praised Morgan and said he was pleased with the result, although there’s things to work on before the Americans face Jamaica on Thursday.
“On the other side, we gave up a lot of opportunities, gave up a penalty kick. That’s something we’re going to have to do better and tie up a few things for the next game,” Andonovski said.
2022 Concacaf W Championship: How to watch, USWNT schedule, scores
Eight teams are split into two groups for the W Championship. The top two finishers in each group earn World Cup berths. The third place finishers in each group advance to a 10-team intercontinental playoff, to be held in New Zealand in February.
The winner of the W Championship also earns a spot in the 2024 Olympics (more details here).
Haiti has never qualified for a World Cup or an Olympics. In addition to the United States and Haiti, the group includes Jamaica and Mexico.
Canada, Costa Rica, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago are in the other group.
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Alex Morgan scores twice to start USWNT World Cup qualifying campaign originally appeared on NBCSports.com