USWNT / Women's World Cup / Women's World Cup

Rodriguez goal assures USWNT World Cup spot

Amy Rodriguez scored in the 40th minute against Italy on Saturday to give the USWNT a ticket to the 2012 World Cup.

The Philadelphia Independence forward slid in to finish a shot from Megan Rapinoe that the Italian keeper stopped but couldn’t control.

“It was a jumble in front of the net,” Rodriguez said. “The ball was loose and I just saw it escape from the goalie and tried to just dive in there and put it on frame. And luckily it hit the back of the net.”

The US had defeated Italy 1–0 in the first match of the two-leg playoff for the final World Cup spot thanks to a goal by Alex Morgan in the closing seconds of stoppage time.

As has been the case throughout the CONCACAF qualifiers, the US started off slowly before finding its rhythm. Coach Pia Sundhage said, “I want to apologize for the first 20 minutes, it was crap.”

The US went on to control play in the second half.

Independence defender Heather Mitts started the match and was subbed out in the 76th minute. Lori Lindsey was available on the bench but did not play.

Despite being the last team to qualify for the 2011 Women’s World Cup, the US was seeded at the top of Group C. The draw for the tournament will take place on Monday, November 29 at 1:30pm.

“I’m thankful that we have a good six, seven months ahead of us before the World Cup because we do need that time to train and to get prepared,” Rodriguez said. “It’s going to be one of the most competitive World Cups. I know the other teams are training hard and we’re going to do the exact same thing so we’re ready.”

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