Rarely was the U.S. women’s soccer team tested during the Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament, but even when challenged by Canada in the championship match, the team emerged victorious.
Team USA prevailed with a trio of second-half goals for a 3-0 win to claim the trophy on Sunday, but had to survive in a tight, scoreless contest throughout the first half and into the second.
The game in Carson, California, was a formality for both teams in terms of actual Olympic qualification, as the winners of the semifinals earned places at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, but that didn’t mean nothing was at stake.
The U.S. was unbeaten in its last 27 matches and its last 44 at home. Both teams also came into the game having not allowed a single goal in the tournament, a streak that continued for both until the 60th minute.
Ultimately it was a mistake by Canada that led to its first deficit of the tournament. Lynn Williams capitalized on a giveaway inside the box and finished with a goal to the right side for a 1-0 lead. It was her third goal of the tournament to go along with three assists in four games and three starts.
Eleven minutes later Samantha Mewis lofted the ball from the left corner across to Williams on the far side. She headed the ball down toward Lindsey Horan, who pulled it from a defender and stuffed it in for her sixth goal of the tournament.
That was all the reigning FIFA Women’s World Cup champions needed as they kept the defense locked down and all their streaks intact. Megan Rapinoe added a late goal in the final minutes to make it 3-0.
Next up for the U.S. women is the SheBelieves Cup to be held March 5-11.