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  • USA, Canada into CONCACAF W Championship final


    The familar rivalry between the United States and Canada will see its latest chapter in Mexico as both teams reached the final of the CONCACAF W Championship, the North American women's football qualifier.


    In the first semifinal of two played as a double-header at Estadio Universitario in San Nicolás de los Garza, the US took on Costa Rica. The Americans pushed early on but were met by stubborn resistance. But the reigning world champions are used to 'winning ugly' if they have to, and their opening goal certainly met that description: a goalmouth scramble after a corner poked home by Emily Sonnett. Las Ticas were up against it now, and they couldn't keep the deficit to one before half-time; first a goal was disallowed for offside before the Stars and Stripes did get number two thanks to a lovely back-heeled assist pounced upon by Mallory Pugh in injury time. There was still time for one more goal, although the Americans would have to wait until second half injury time to get it: a ball over the top eventually found its way to Ashley Sanchez who smashed the USWNT into the final.


    In the second game, it was Canada that faced Jamaica. Similarly to the first game, it was a big name against an underdog, and that big name found the lead early when a cross was deflected into the path of Jessie Fleming who nodded home. Canada never looked back after that, adding two more goals in the second half: first Allysha Chapman headed home a cross to the far post, before another cross was headed on to Adriana Leon who tapped home for three.


    This sets up two crucial games, to be played as a double header at Estadio BBVA in Guadalupe, which is a stadium fit for champions: five-time CONCACAF Champions League winners CF Monterrey call it home. Firstly, in the third-placed play-off, Costa Rica face Jamaica, before the world champion Americans take on the Olympic champions Canada in the final.


    The winners of the competition will qualify for the Olympics directly, as well as have the luxury of foregoing qualifying for the 2024 CONCACAF W Gold Cup. Second and third will play in the "Olympic play-in" in 2023, while the fourth-placed team will see their Olympic dream die for this cycle.


    Patrick Green

    Writer, Totallympics News


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