USA edges Canada in shootout

[OLYMPIC WOMEN'S QUALIFYING] For the first time in 11 games since Pia Sundhage took over as head coach, the U.S. women's national team didn't earn an outright victory, but it managed to beat Canada in a shootout Saturday to win the 2008 Concacaf Olympic women's qualifying tournament in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

The battle of Olympic finalists ended in a 1-1 tie (0-0 after 90 minutes), and the Americans prevailed, 6-5, on penalty kicks. The result ended the Americans' perfect record of 27 wins in Concacaf competitions dating back to 1991.

The USA outshot Canada, 24-10, but Canadian goalie Erin McLeod made a half-dozen spectacular stops.

The Americans finally took the lead thanks to Carli Lloyd's goal on a free kick in the 107th minute, but the Canadians tied the game three minutes from the end of overtime on Melissa Tancredi's goal. The tying goal was the first goalie Nicole Barnhart has allowed in eight career appearances for the USA.

"It was an exciting game, you could hear it in the crowd's reaction," said Sundhage. "The way we played in the second half was very good and we created a lot of chances. This is the environment that really matters when you have the word 'final' attached to it and being pushed to penalty kicks it's one of the best things that could happen to the U.S. team in this tournament."

Host Mexico beat Costa Rica, 1-0, for third place.

Next up for the USA are matches against Australia on April 27 in Cary, N.C. and on May 3 in Birmingham, Ala.

GAME SUMMARIES:
Final
April 12 in Ciudad Juarez

USA 1 Canada 1 (USA wins 6-5 on penalties). Goals: Lloyd 107; Tancredi 116.
USA -- Barnhart, Buehler, Rampone, Markgraf, Chalupny, Osborne, Lloyd, Tarpley (O'Reilly, 62), White (Hucles, 76), Kai (Wambach, 46), Rodriguez.
Canada -- McLeod, Chapman, Franko, Hermus (Gayle, 46), Rustad, Matheson (Marton, 100), Filigno (Timko, 70), Wilkinson, Sinclair, Tancredi, Lang.
Referee: Erika Vargas (Costa Rica).
Att.: 4,151.

Semifinals
April 9 in Ciudad Juarez

USA 3 Costa Rica 0. Goals: Kai 57, 89, O'Reilly 72.
USA -- Solo, Cox, Rampone, Whitehill, Chalupny, O'Reilly (Hucles, 83), Boxx, Lloyd, Tarpley (Heath, 46), Kai, Wambach (Rodriguez, 74).
Costa Rica -- Tapia, Rojas, Galves, Esquivel, Alvarado, Granados, Rodriguez, Malavassi, Sanchez, Wilson, Venegas (Chavez, 69).
Referee: Diane Ferreira-James (Guyana).
Att.: 22,280.

April 6 in Ciudad Juarez
Mexico 1 USA 3. Goals: Kai 13, 45, Wambach 32; Worbis 31.
USA -- Barnhart, Buehler, Rampone, Markgraf, Chalupny, Osborne, O'Reilly, Boxx (Osborne, 66), Lloyd, Heath (Tarpley, 46), Kai (Rodriguez, 56), Wambach.
Mexico -- S.Perez, Vinti, Castillo, Gordillo (Mora, 67), Valdez (Villalpando, 30), Vergara, Lopez, P.Perez (Ocampo, 46), Morales, Padilla, Worbis.
Canada -- McLeod, Chapman, Franko, Hermus (Gayle, 46), Rustad, Matheson (Marton, 100), Filigno (Timko, 70), Wilkinson, Sinclair, Tancredi, Lang.
Referee: Erika Vargas (Costa Rica).
Att.: 22,280.

April 4 in Ciudad Juarez
USA 6 Jamaica 0. Goals: Lloyd 16, Cheney 21, Wambach pen. 53, 68, O'Reilly 88, Heath 95+.
USA -- Barnhart;, Cox, Markgraf, Rampone (Whitehill, 55), Chalupny, Boxx, Lloyd (Heath, 46), Tarpley, O'Reilly, Cheney, Wambach (White, 73).
Jamaica -- Linton, Murray, Rennalls, Vassell, Hamilton;, McBean, McGregor (Johnson, 91+), Davis, Chang, V.Reid (K.Reid, 74), Duncan (Vincent, 64).
Referee: Diane Ferreira-James (Guyana).
Att.: 5,083

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications