A place at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is now just one win away for the U.S. women’s soccer team.
With its 6-0 win over Costa Rica on Monday night, the U.S. secured the top spot in Group A of the Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying. The two-time defending FIFA Women’s World Cup champions now advance to the semifinals and will face either Canada or Mexico on Friday with the winner earning an Olympic berth.
The U.S. is going for its seventh consecutive Olympic berth, which would give it a spot in the Games every year since women’s soccer was first included in 1996. The team has won four gold and one silver medal.
The result was as expected, with the U.S. coming into the match with a 4-0-0 record against Costa Rica. Both teams rested a number of starters, with Costa Rica coming into the match assured of at least second place in the group and a semifinal berth as the runner-up.
It didn’t take long for one of the U.S. starters to give her team a boost.
Christen Press kicked things off four and a half minutes into the game when she outfoxed a handful of opponents, stopping a trio of Costa Rica players in their tracks before launching a shot from the right side to the far high corner to make it 1-0.
Five minutes later it was 2-0 after a series of well-timed passes, including one from Carli Lloyd, who earned her 290th cap for the U.S. women’s team, to Lindsay Horan all alone to chip one in to make it 2-0.
Press scored again before the first half was over, beating her defender before sending the ball to the far side to give the U.S. a 3-0 lead.
Samantha Mewis scored twice in the second half and Jessica McDonald also added a goal to ensure Team USA’s victory as Alyssa Naeher kept a clean sheet.