USWNT beats Costa Rica 6-0 to win Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Group A
HOUSTON – The U.S. Women’s National Team took first place in Group A of the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament with a dominating 6-0 victory against Costa Rica in front of 7,082 fans at BBVA Stadium.
Forward Christen Press scored two spectacular strikes in the first half, Lindsey Horan scored her fifth goal of the tournament, and Samantha Mewis added a pair of goals in the second half while also assisting on Jessica McDonald’s tap-in for the final margin.
The USA and Costa Rica entered the game tied on six points with both having advanced to the semifinal round of the tournament to be held on Feb. 7 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. The U.S. victory means it will face the runner-up from Group B – either Canada or Mexico — on Friday while Costa Rica will face the Group B winner.
2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Group A Final Standings
Continuing to adroitly manage the physical load of his players with the all-important tournament semifinal four days away, U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski made six changes to the starting lineup from last game. The changes had little effect on the USA’s cohesiveness as the team once again scored within the opening minutes of the match via a world class strike from Press in the third minute.
Horan extended the U.S. lead seven minutes later with a smooth finish off a Carli Lloyd assist as the USA imposed its will on Costa Rica.
Press added her second top shelf strike 10 minutes before the teams headed to the locker rooms to put the USA firmly in the driver’s seat with a 3-0 lead at the break.
The second half saw more of the same from the U.S., which once again dominated the advantage in shots, possession and denied the Ticas a single attempt on goal en route to adding a few more tallies, the first from Samantha Mewis in the 63rd minute.
Shortly after the fourth U.S. goal, Andonovski made a pair of changes with Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath coming on for Lloyd and Julie Ertz. That resulted in a U.S. lineup shift as Horan dropping to defensive midfield, Heath played attacking midfielder and Press moved from the flank to center forward.
The shift help produce in two final U.S. goals. Mewis set up McDonald in the 77th minute before adding the final strike herself with a powerful header in the 82nd minute to send the USA into the tournament semifinal riding high.
Next on the Schedule: The USA will face either Canada or Mexico on Friday, Feb. 7 (10 p.m. ET / 7 PT; FS1, TUDN), pending the result between the two teams the Group B finale tomorrow. Fans will also be able to watch the game on FOXSports.com and the FOX Sports app.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
USA – Christen Press (Carli Lloyd), 4th minute: The USA once again opened the scoring early as Lloyd flicked on a long ball with her head and Press settled on the run about 40 yards from goal. She raced to the right side of the penalty area with defenders in tow, then cut back to her left foot before hitting a ruthless bending strike from 22 years out that spun into the upper left corner, giving the goalkeeper no chance. USA 1, CRC 0 [WATCH]
USA – Lindsey Horan (Carli Lloyd), 10th minute: The USA doubled its lead when Ali Krieger played a thread pass up the middle for Lloyd, who took a touch to free herself from a defender and then slipped Horan behind the defense with a perfectly-weighted through ball. Horan’s run was exquisitely-timed and she took advantage of her one-on-one chance by rolling her shot on the ground into the lower right corner from 12 yards out. USA 2, CRC 0 [WATCH]
USA – Christen Press (Ali Krieger), 36th minute: Her second goal also featured a world class finish as Press ran onto a ball down the left wing from Krieger and cut back towards the middle into the left side of the penalty area. In the process, she made space blast her right-footed shot on a line from 15 yards out into the upper part of the goal inside the right post. USA 3, CRC 0 [WATCH]
USA – Samantha Mewis (Christen Press), 63rd minute: The U.S. won a free kick just outside the top right corner of the penalty area that Press served toward the top of the six-yard box. Mewis met the cross and in stride smashed a right-footed half-volley that spun into the roof of the net. USA 4, CRC 0 [WATCH]
USA – Jessica McDonald (Samantha Mewis), 77th minute: Mewis won a challenge for the ball in the Costa Rica box, beat a second defender on the dribble deeper into the left side of the penalty area and then hit a low cross through the goal mouth to the back post where McDonald was wide open for the easy tap-in. USA 5, CRC 0 [WATCH]
USA – Samantha Mewis (Kelley O’Hara), 82nd minute: The ball was played out wide to O’Hara who had time to float a ball to the top of the six-yard box. The arching cross gave Mewis time to get beneath it and she powered a header off the underside of the crossbar and just over the goal line for the USA’s final score. USA 6, CRC 0 [WATCH] FINAL
- Lindsey Horan scored the 17th goal of her career. It was also her fifth of the year and fifth of the tournament, which puts her in second place among all tournament goal scorers.
- This is the first time in Horan’s WNT career that she has scored in three straight games.
- Christen Press scored her third and fourth goals of the tournament, giving her four on the year and 55 in her career. She has now scored in five consecutive games dating back to the last two games of 2019 vs. Sweden and Costa Rica.
- The semifinal at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. will be played not far from Press’ hometown of Palos Verdes Estates.
- This was the eighth multi-game goal for Press in her career, tying her for 10th in U.S. history with Megan Rapinoe.
- Samantha Mewis scored her first and second goals of the year and now has 16 in her career.
- It was the fourth multi-goal game of Mewis’ WNT career, which of course included two goals in the opening game of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup vs. Thailand.
- Every USA player has seen the field in the tournament so far except Adrianna Franch.
– U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT –
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Costa Rica
Date: February 3, 2020
Competition: 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying – Group A
Venue: BBVA Stadium; Houston, Texas
Kickoff: 7:40 p.m. CT
Weather: 68 degrees; mostly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 3 3 6
CRC 0 0 0
USA – Christen Press (Carli Lloyd) 4th minute
USA – Lindsey Horan (Carli Lloyd) 10
USA – Christen Press (Ali Krieger) 36
USA – Samantha Mewis (Christen Press) 63
USA – Jessica McDonald (Samantha Mewis) 77
USA – Samantha Mewis (Kelley O’Hara) 82
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 2-Emily Sonnett, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 11-Ali Krieger, 19-Crystal Dunn (5-Kelly O’Hara, 55); 8-Julie Ertz (17-Tobin Heath, 64), 3-Samantha Mewis, 9-Lindsey Horan; 14-Jessica McDonald, 10-Carli Lloyd (Capt.) (15-Megan Rapinoe, 64), 20-Christen Press
Substitutes not used: 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 6-Andi Sullivan, 12-Adrianna Franch, 13-Lynn Williams, 16-Rose Lavelle, 18-Ashlyn Harris
Head coach: Vlatko Andonovski
CRC: 18-Priscilla Tapia; 3-Maria Coto, 5-Fabiola Sanchez, 6-Carol Sanchez, 12-Lixy Rodriguez; 9-Gloriana Villalobos, 16-Katherine Alvarado (Capt.) (4-Mariana Benavides, 64), 20-Raquel Chacon; 7-Melissa Herrera (2-Gabriela Guillen, 45), 17-Maria Salas (10-Shirley Cruz, 78), 19-Jazmin Elizondo
Substitutes not used: 1-Maria Bermudez, 8-Daniela Cruz, 11-Raquel Rodriguez, 13-Dinnia Diaz, 14-Priscila Chinchilla, 15-Stephannie Blanco
Head coach: Amelia Valverde
Stats Summary: USA / CRC
Shots: 24 / 1
Shots on Goal: 13 / 0
Saves: 0 / 8
Corner Kicks: 5 / 1
Fouls: 10 / 10
Offside: 6 / 0
CRC – Jazmin Elizondo (caution) 61st minute
Referee: Francia Gonzalez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Mayte Chavez Garcia (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Karen Diaz (MEX)
4th Official: Odette HAMILTON (JAM)
Player of the Match: Christen Press