The U.S. women got their revenge on Canada. And an Olympic spot to go with it.
Alex Morgan converted a penalty in the 78th minute to give the USWNT a 1-0 victory over Canada in the Concacaf championship game on Monday night. The Americans qualified for the Paris Games in 2024 with the win, while the reigning Olympic champions will now play third-place Jamaica in September 2023 for Concacaf’s remaining spot.
Both the USWNT and Canada had already qualified for next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, along with Jamaica and Costa Rica.
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The USWNT has long dominated its neighbors to the north, losing to the Canadians just four times. But one of those losses — the first in 20 years — came in the semifinals at last summer’s Tokyo Olympics, and that didn’t sit well with the Americans.
Never mind that this is a vastly different team than the U.S. women had in Tokyo, with just nine players carrying over. The Americans aren’t used to losing and, when it does happen, they don’t take it well.
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They dominated Canada for much of the night, with Morgan, Sophia Smith, Lindsey Horan and Mallory Pugh all having good chances. Smith had two of the best opportunities, unable to convert with an open goal late in the second half and unable to dislodge the ball from Canada goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan on the goal line just before halftime.
But in the 76th minute, Rose Lavelle was tripped in the box, drawing a penalty. Horan stepped up to take it before giving way to Morgan, who stood over the ball with a slight smile on her face. It was obvious even before her foot met leather that she was going to score.
Morgan struck the ball into the bottom right corner of the net as Sheridan dove in the opposite direction. The Americans had their goal, and a trip to Paris.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: USWNT defeats Canada for Concacaf title, earns spot in 2024 Olympics