[WOMEN'S WORLD CUP QUALIFYING] This time, there was no upset. Abby Wambach made sure of that, helping set up Lauren Cheney for the first goal and scoring the next two herself as the USA beat Costa Rica, 3-0, in the third-place game at the Concacaf Women's World Cup qualifying game in Cancun, Mexico. The win moved the Americans into a playoff against Italy later this month.
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The USA went ahead in the 17th minute when Wambach headed a corner kick to Cheney, who played the ball to Lori Lindsey, took the return pass, turned on her defender and fired a shot that deflected off Katherine Alvarado and past goalkeeper Dinnia Diaz.
In the 33rd minute, Lindsey played a ball over the top of the Tica backline to Wambach, who volleyed the ball with her left foot into the goal to the far post.
Five minutes into the second half, Wambach took a pass from Cheney, broke free down the right side and beat Diaz to the far post with her tournament-leading eighth goal and 117th of her international career.
The USA and Italy will face off for the last of 16 berths to the 2011 Women’s World Cup in Germany.
The first leg would take place in Italy on Nov. 20 in Padova. The return leg would take place on Nov. 27 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill.
Canada won the Concacaf championship game with a 1-0 win over Mexico.
The Germany '11 draw will be held on Nov. 29.
Nov. 8 in Cancun
USA 3 Costa Rica 0.
USA -- Cheney (Lindsey) 17
USA -- Wambach (Lindsey) 33
USA -- Wambach (Cheney) 50
USA -- Barnhart, Krieger, LePeilbet, Rampone, Buehler, O’Reilly (Rodriguez, 46), Boxx (Averbuch, 57), Lloyd, Lindsey, Cheney, Wambach (Morgan, 68).
Costa Rica -- Diaz, Acosta, Quiros (Flores, 46), C.Sanchez, D.Cruz, Barrantes (Granados, 69), S. Cruz (Alvarez, 74), Alvardo, L.Sanchez, Malvassi, R.Rodriguez.
USA – LePeilbet 39
USA – Wambach 65
USA – Averbuch 74
USA – Lindsey 80
Referee: Quetzalli Alvarado (MEX).
Semifinal: Nigeria vs. Cameroon
Semifinal: Equatorial Guinea vs. South Africa
(winners advance to finals.)
Top two advance.
USA vs. Italy
(winner advances to finals.)