[WOMEN'S WORLD CUP QUALIFYING] Abby Wambach scored a hat trick -- the sixth three-goal game of her international career
-- to lead the United States to a 5-0 win over Haiti in their opening game at the Concacaf Women's World Cup qualifying tournament in Cancun, Mexico.
Rachel Buehler and Amy Rodriguez also scored for the Americans, who will face Guatemala on Saturday at the Estadio Quintana Roo.
The game, the first Women’s World Cup qualifying match for six U.S. starters, was a one-sided affair as the Americans had a 17-1 edge in shots on goal.
They put four goals past Haitian goalkeeper Geralda Saintillius before halftime, including three goals that came off set plays.
After the game, the Americans presented the Haitians, still recovering from the devastating earthquake that hit the island in January, cleats, clothes, additional soccer gear and comfort items they had brought with them from the United States.
Wambach praised the Haitians' fighting spirit during the match.
“We wanted them to know that they were thinking of them and we wished them good luck in the rest of the tournament,” she said.
Costa Rica defeated Guatemala, 1-0, in the first Group B match of the evening.
Play in Group A, featuring host Mexico, Canada, Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana, begins Friday.
Oct. 28 in Cancun
USA 5 Haiti 0. Goals: Buehler 8, Wambach 15, 45+, 62; Rodriguez 40.
USA -- Barnhart, Mitts, LePeilbet, Rampone, Buehler, O’Reilly (Rapinoe, 46), Boxx, Lloyd, Averbuch (Lilly, 46), Rodriguez (Cheney, 57), Wambach.
Haiti -- Saintillius, Francois, Marseille, Louine Valcine, Libertin, Dolce, Charles, Brand (Dina Jean-Pierre, 68), Saintilmond, Boulos (Valentin, 80), Mathelier (Batard, 60).
Referee: Carol Anne Chenard (Canada).