The U.S. beat Canada to win the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship on Feb. 9, 2020. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The U.S. beat Canada to win the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship on Feb. 9, 2020. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

U.S. defeats Canada in CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Championship final

CARSON, Calif. — The U.S. continued its mastery over Canada on Sunday, winning the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship 3-0 on second-half goals by Lynn Williams, Lindsey Horan and Megan Rapinoe.

Canada faded as the game wore on and the breakthrough came in the 60th minute after Jayde Riviere’s attempted clearance went to Williams, who hammered a shot high into the far corner. Horan made it 2-0 in the 71st minute, using a neat touch to beat two defenders and then put the ball in the corner.

With Canada pressing for a goal, substitute Rapinoe went in alone in the 87th minute and beat Stephanie Labbe.

“We definitely pushed for 60 minutes and we can be proud of that performance, but we will need to take care of those small errors we made,” said Canada coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller.

“When we play anyone in the world, we know we have a chance to win because that is how good our team is, but we also know that those small things can have a big impact. We need to be ready to take care of those small things and continue the path we are on towards the Olympic Games.”

The two North American rivals have met 60 times in all competitions, with the U.S. holding a 50-3-7 advantage over Canada.

Canada has not beaten the U.S. since the 2001 Algarve Cup when Charmaine Hooper scored twice and Christine Sinclair once in a 3-0 win. The Canadian women have gone 0-29-6 against the Americans since, but have tied two of the last six meetings.

Eighth-ranked Canada has now finished runner-up to the U.S. at the last four CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournaments. The top-ranked Americans have dominated the event over the years, compiling a 23-0-1 record while outscoring the opposition 122-3.

“We have a great front line, we have a great midfield. The defenders were doing their job in the first half, so it was our turn to get the job done in the second half,” said Williams.

Bragging rights were all that was on the line Sunday at Dignity Health Sports Park. Canada and the U.S. had qualified for the Olympics with semifinal wins Friday over Costa Rica and Mexico, respectively.

The two North American rivals arrived in the final with 4-0-0 tournament records. Neither had conceded a goal.

Rebecca Quinn and the 19-year-old Riviere came into the Canadian starting 11 with Allysha Chapman and Jordyn Huitema moving to the bench. The U.S. made six changes with Rapinoe and captain Carli Lloyd among those moving to the bench.

Canadian centre back Kadeisha Buchanan, a 24-year-old who plays in France for Lyon, captained the team in honour of her 100th cap.

While the World Cup champion Americans dominated possession early, the Canadians came on as the half wore on. The Canadians loaded up on defence, dropping five into the backline when the Americans had the ball.

Christen Press came close for the Americans in the 33rd minute when her swerving rocket from well outside the penalty box banged off the crossbar. Canada’s best chance of the half came in the 38th minute when an onrushing Alyssa Naeher stopped Sinclair from in close.

Press came close again late in the half when, after a poor clearance, she saw Labbe off her line. But her attempted chip was too high. Another Press shot deflected wide soon after.

“I actually don’t think they did too much to adjust. We made three individual mistakes, and gave them three goals,” said Sinclair. “I thought we played a pretty even first half, obviously they dominated possession. But against a team like that, you can’t give them goals, and we did that tonight.”

The Americans had several good scoring chances in the second half.

Labbe stopped Williams in the 48th minute. And Sophie Schmidt made a big challenge to deny an American shot in the 54th.

Canada’s Janine Beckie, fed by Jessie Fleming, came close in the 77th minute but her shot/cross went just wide.

The Canadian women won bronze at the last two Olympics and exited in the quarterfinals in 2008 in Beijing. Canada failed to qualify for the 2004 Games, beaten by Mexico in qualifying.

The Canadian women missed out on the 1996 and 2000 Games, when the U.S. was the lone CONCACAF representative in the eight-team field.

The U.S. was a disappointing fifth four years ago in Rio, after losing to Sweden in a quarterfinal penalty shootout, but previously won gold in 1996, 2004, 2008 and 2012, as well as silver in 2000.

Brazil, Britain, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and the U.S. have already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, joining host Japan in the 12-country field.

Seven Asian teams are still in the running for Tokyo with two to advance from Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Myanmar, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

Cameroon and Zambia face off in an African home-and-away series in March with the winner qualifying for Tokyo. The loser will meet Chile in an intercontinental playoff in April to see who joins them.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 9, 2020.

soccer

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Workers were busy getting a tall crane in place Thursday morning for the construction of the new courthouse in downtown Red Deer. The facility will include modern technology and replace the existing courthouse upon completion expected in spring 2023. Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff
Work on Red Deer Justice Centre progressing

Construction of the new courthouse in downtown Red Deer was visible Thursday… Continue reading

The City of Red Deer is including $1 million in its 2021 operating budget, just in case Westerner Park’s pandemic cancellations continue and it needs more support next year. (Advocate file photo)
Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance responds to a question during a news conference Friday, June 26, 2020 in Ottawa. Vance is ordering his troops to be ready to pick up COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. and Europe on short notice, and prepare to help distribute the doses while responding to floods and other emergencies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence chief says CAF will be ready after ordering COVID-19 vaccine prep last week

OTTAWA — The Canadian Armed Forces received formal orders last week to… Continue reading

Geoff Neville poses for a photo with his sons Casey, 3, left, and Ryder, 6, in this undated handout photo. Geoff Neville is a rotational worker in Newfoundland and Labrador who works in a mine in Nunavut for 14 days in a row and then gets 14 days off to come home and see his family. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Geoff Neville
‘I’d love to be home:’ N.L. rotational workers facing bullying online

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — As Geoff Neville waited this week in a… Continue reading

Justice Minister David Lametti arrives for a news conference in Ottawa, Thursday November 26, 2020. The Liberal government is set to introduce long-awaited legislation today to enshrine the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canadian law. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Bill to enshrine UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canadian law

OTTAWA — The Liberal government is set to introduce long-awaited legislation today… Continue reading

Dan Cochrane, senior pastor at CrossRoads Church. Contributed photo
CrossRoads Church closes its doors for two weeks after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

CrossRoads Church made the decision to cancel in-house services for two weeks… Continue reading

Nancy McInerney, Kevin Martin, Olds Mayor Michael Muzychka, Chelsea Carey and MLA Nathan Cooper pose for a photo during the ticket launch for the Grand Slam of Curling Champions Cup in Olds from April 29 to May 3 in October. The event has been rescheduled for 2022. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Olds misses out on Champions Cup again, event penciled in to return in 2022

They say waiting is the hardest part for curling fans in Central… Continue reading

File Photo
Sylvan Lake Town Council squashes mask bylaw

The bylaw did not make it past first reading, after a 4-3 vote defeated the motion

Mikael Kingsbury, of Canada, trains during the FIS Freestyle World Cup skiing competition Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Park City, Utah. Kingsbury will miss moguls races for the first time in his World Cup career after suffering a back injury in training on Sunday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jeff Swinger
Canadian moguls star Mikael Kingsbury out four to six weeks with back injury

MONTREAL — Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury will miss moguls races for the first… Continue reading

Detail of James Wilson Morrice's "LaPlage."
James Wilson Morrice canvas outperforms at auction with more than million-dollar sale

A canvas by Montreal-born artist James Wilson Morrice exceeded expectations with a… Continue reading

Bank buildings are photographed in Toronto's financial district on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. International comparisons suggest Canadian financiers are oiling the wheels of the fossil fuel industry at a far greater rate than their peers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
‘Canada really sticks out:’ Studies show banks not so green on climate change

International analyses suggest Canadian financiers are oiling the wheels of the fossil… Continue reading

Goals galore for Ronaldo, Giroud, Neymar in Champions League

Goals galore for Ronaldo, Giroud, Neymar in Champions League

Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins is seen at a media availablity to introduce new pitcher Shun Yamaguchi in Toronto on January 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Jays ‘prepared’ if things pick up on free agency and trade fronts this off-season

Jays ‘prepared’ if things pick up on free agency and trade fronts this off-season

Shaquille Murray-Lawrence, left, and teammate Taylor Austin are shown during training in Whistler, B.C., in this undated handout photo. Montreal Allouettes running back Shaquille Murray-Lawrence is used to pysching himself up to sprint down a field, evading a crush of muscled men the entire way. But mentally preparing for his latest venture required bracing for a whole new set of anxieties. As he got ready to hop in a bobsleigh for the first time, Murray-Lawrence knew he'd be zipping down an icy track faster than cars are allowed to travel down most highways. Murrary-Lawrence, 27, is one of three CFL players who joined the national bobsleigh team after the league canceled its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Shaquille Murray-Lawrence
Sliding into a new sport: CFLers turn to bobsled after football season wiped out

Sliding into a new sport: CFLers turn to bobsled after football season wiped out

Most Read