The U.S. Women’s National Team are champions of CONCACAF once again.
After a narrow encounter against Canada in the final, the USWNT pulled off a 1-0 victory thanks to Alex Morgan’s penalty kick to win the 2022 CONCACAF W Championship on Monday.
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Here is Morgan’s cool, calm and collected penalty conversion that eventually served as the game-winner:
The U.S. got off to a hot start early. Within 42 seconds, forward Mallory Pugh had a shot from the right side of the penalty box denied. Just a few minutes later, Morgan nearly finessed a shot into the right corner from the left side of the penalty box.
In total, the USWNT had six golden opportunities to open the bank account in the first half, but couldn’t finish off plays despite excellent build-up work.
Perhaps the best chance came right before the end of the first half when Sophia Smith had a one-on-one moment against Canadian goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan, who had made some brilliant saves throughout the opening 45 minutes.
Right-back Sofia Huerta delivered a cross from the right wing that was deflected and fell onto Smith’s lap, but Sheridan was quick to react on the initial shot and the follow-up deflection:
Smith had another crucial chance in the 64th minute when she broke through in the final third after a beautiful through ball split two defenders, but her work to get around the goalkeeper resulted in nothing after steering the shot wide of the open net:
After Morgan’s penalty, her first attempt for the USWNT in the last four years, it was Canada that started to generate momentum, as expected with the game on the line. Ashley Lawrence and Jordyn Huitema both had moments where they could’ve tied the game, but both attempts went over the crossbar.
In the end, the USWNT continued its streak of not allowing a goal in CONCACAF since 2010. And with the victory, the U.S. punched its ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics after already qualifying for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
Just before this contest, Jamaica beat Costa Rica 1-0 in the third-place game. Jamaica will now play Canada in September 2023 for a spot in the 2024 Summer Olympics.
The USWNT has won the tournament five times under the CONCACAF W Championship branding, with four of those wins coming against Canada. It has won the tournament three years in a row (2014, 2018).
Though the game was won in Mexico, there will definitely be a party in the USA tonight.