US qualifies for Women’s World Cup with 3-0 victory over Mexico

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Delran, New Jersey native Carli Lloyd scored twice, and Christen Press added a goal, as the US Women’s National Team ran out easy victors against an overmatched Mexico side. Lloyd nodded in a free header in the 6th minute before adding a second from the penalty spot on the half hour mark. Christen Press finished off a fabulous move in the 56th minute, adding gloss to the already dominating display from the US.

With the victory, the US team qualifies for the 2015 World Cup in Canada. They will meet Costa Rica in the finals of CONCACAF qualifying on Sunday, with both teams already through to next year’s tournament. Costa Rica defeated Trinidad and Tobago in penalty kicks in the early match on Friday.

First Half

The US came out on the front foot and had the opening goal in the 6th minute. Switching the point of attack, Lauren Holiday swung the ball to the left side for the impressive Tobin Heath. Heath picked up her head and spotted the run of Lloyd and put in an inch perfect cross to the edge of the six yard box that Lloyd needed only to guide past stranded Mexico goalkeeper Pamela Tajonar.

The Americans were back on the attack straight away. Press had a strong shot saved by Tajonar and the rebound was fired just wide by Heath in the 12th minute.

Press was back at it in the 22nd minute, getting behind the Mexican back line, but with only Tajonar to beat, she fired into the side netting.

But the US would find their second of the match on the half hour mark. Heath again was at the center of things, driving into the box with ball at her feet. As she advanced toward the end line, Mexican right back Arianna Romero clumsily clipped the heal of the midfielder and referee Sheena Dickson was quick to point to the spot. Lloyd stepped up to take the spot kick in front of the American Outlaws in the River End and coolly sent Tajonar the wrong way, finishing into the left side of goal.

The US would have a great opportunity to make it 3-0 before the half. A cross from the right side this time found left back Meghan Klingenberg wide open at the far post. But instead of simply heading into an empty net, the outside back tried to tap home with right foot and sent the ball over the bar.

Second Half

The US would pick up right where they left off in the second half. In the 50th minute, a ball whipped in from the right side found Sydney Leroux wide open, but the striker could only turn the ball against the crossbar from close range. Press followed the play but shot the rebound  just wide of goal.

But the US would find their third goal shortly thereafter. Another smooth passing move through the midfield saw Leroux play in a perfectly weighted ball on the right side for Press to run onto. With just the keeper to beat, Press rounded Tajonar and tapped into an empty net from six yards. Replays showed that Press may have been offside, but the flag stayed down.

Leroux would have another great chance to score a goal of her own in the 61st minute. With room to run at the Mexican backline, the striker broke into the box to right of the Mexican goal and fired a fierce drive that beat Tajonar but clanged off the post and stayed out.

The next chance for the US would come in the 65th minute. Substitute Abby Wambach, who came on for Leroux, did well to keep play alive, keeping the ball in-play in the left corner of the Mexican end. Wambach fired in a great cross that Holiday nodded just wide of goal from 8 yards.

Lloyd thought she had her hat trick, tapping in a free kick with about ten minutes remaining. But she was correctly flagged offside on the play, looking to be a step ahead of the Mexican defense.

The US hit the woodwork for the third time in the 84th minute when Press latched onto a bouncing ball in the box and clanged it off the post before it rebound out.

After two short minutes of stoppage time, the US were the 3-0 victors, their passage to next year’s Women’s World Cup in Canada secure.

The match was notable for another local player, New Jersey native Christie Rampone, who earned her 300th cap in the win. The center back first debuted with national team in 1997. She trails only Kristine Lilly in all-time caps, who featured an amazing 352 times for the national team.

Costa Rica 1-1 Trinidad & Tobago (3-0 APK)

In the other semi-final, Costa Rica defeated Trinidad & Tobago in penalty kicks after the teams played to a 1-1 draw through 120 minutes. The Costa Ricans threatened to run away with the match in the first half when they had Trinidad & Tobago on the ropes with their clever passing. But they could only manage a 1-0 lead at the half through Carolina Venegas. T&T would grow into the match in the second half and find an equalizer through Lauren Hutchinson in the 74th minute. In extra time, Costa Rica had a good goal incorrectly ruled out for offsides. But justice was served when goalkeeper Dinnia Diaz stopped all three T&T penalty kicks and Costa Rica punched their ticket to next year’s tournament.

Costa Rica will take on the USA in the final of qualifying on Sunday at 6:00 pm. Trinidad & Tobago will meet Mexico at 3 pm, with the winner of the Third Place Match also qualifying for the World Cup. Tickets for the pair of matches are still available. Click here to purchase.

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: Oct. 24, 2014
Competition: 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship; Semifinals
Venue: PPL Park; Chester, Pennsylvania
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 68 degrees, cool

1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 6-Whitney Engen, 16-Meghan Klingenberg; 12-Lauren Holiday (9-Heather O’Reilly, 75), 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe (7-Morgan Brian, 67); 14-Christen Press, 2-Sydney Leroux (20-Abby Wambach, 62), 17-Tobin Heath
Subs Not Used: 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 5-Kelley O’Hara, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 19-Julie Johnston
Head Coach: Jill Ellis

12-Pamela Tajonar (capt.); 2-Arianna Romero, 3-Bianca Sierra, 4-Alina Garcíamendez, 15-Christina Murillo (14-Monica Alvarado, 72); 6-Liliana Mercado, 7-Lydia Nayeli Rangel, 13-Kenti Robles (8-Teresa Noyola, 76); 18-Dinora Garza, 19-Tanya Samarzich, 20-Luz Duarte (10-Sandra Stephany Mayor, 55)
Subs Not Used: 1-Cecilia Santiago, 5-Paulina Solís, 11-Monica Ocampo, 9-Veronica Charlyn Corral, 16-Karla Nieto, 17-Veronica Perez
Head Coach: Leonardo Cuellar

Scoring Summary
USA – Carli Lloyd (Tobin Heath) — 6′
USA – Carli Lloyd (penalty kick) — 30′
USA – Christen Press (Sydney Leroux) — 56′

Stats Summary (USA / MEX)
Shots: 21 / 1
Shots on Goal: 7 / 0
Saves: 0 / 4
Corner Kicks: 4 / 0
Fouls: 4 / 12
Offside: 9 / 1

Disciplinary Summary

Referee: Sheena Dickson (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Marie-Josee Charbonneau (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Kimberly Moreira (CRC)
Fourth Official: Maurees Skeete (GUY)


  1. Not the most impressive performance. The US women clearly out talented Mexico but were also sloppy at times. Several giveaways could have been costly against stronger opposition. They also seemed to want to play the type of route 1 soccer that didn’t really help the Union a couple of years ago. Several times they tried to force through the center rather than play to wide open wingers.

  2. USWNT domination is over IMO- The world is catching up. The world is catching up. I’d even argue that a few countries have superceded us. We are still a force to reckon with, no doubt- but….
    …our longstanding traits of imposing our will on emerging countries is coming to an end.
    Japan and France are testimony to emerging sophistication while we still seem to rely on the good ole US traits of bigger stronger faster. Sounds familiar to me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *