In dominating fashion, the US Women’s National Team clinched a spot in the Olympics and in the finals of the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament by defeating Trinidad and Tobago by a final score of 5-0.
USA comes out attacking
The side came out looking to attack from the first whistle and in just the third minute of play Alex Morgan hit a tough-angled shot that Kamika Forbes managed to stop as she made herself big to close down any space that might have been open.
Their hard work early in the semi-final paid off in the eleventh minute through the hard work of 17-year-old youngster Mallory Pugh. She then played a pass back towards the middle of the area where Tobin Heath made a good diagonal run to get on the end of it before firing a shot that made its way into the back of the net.
Pugh timed a very good run to get onto a Carli Lloyd through ball and nearly created a good scoring opportunity for herself but the Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper came off her line to push her wide and the defense cleaned up the rest of the danger. Lloyd, in the 22nd minute, found space in behind the defense but saw her shot stopped very well by Forbes.
A second goal for the US Women’s National Team was nearly found with two minutes before the half hour mark after Pugh started the attack. She found Lloyd and proceeded to play a square ball to Morgan who had her shot stopped by Forbes and Pugh missed the following shot wide of the right post.
Alex Morgan found the net for the first time in the 31st minute. Lindsay Horan and Kelley O’Hara combined nicely before Morgan placed her left-footed shot perfectly into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
With a few minutes to go before halftime, Carli Lloyd continued her scoring streak finding the back of the net with a bit of help from Forbes. A cross found the head of Lloyd and hit it low. The Trinidad goalie, who had come up with a couple of big saves prior, let the header slip through her arms.
That opening 45 minutes of play is evident of what the women’s team can do when they are clicking on all cylinders. They exploit every little space in the final third of the pitch with well-timed runs and perfectly weighted balls that are a nightmare for any opposition defense to deal with.
Goals continue to come
Ten minutes after the halftime interval, Forbes came off her line again, this time though, she mistimed her jump, following a ball over the top from Morgan Brian, as Pugh was racing to try and get on the end of the pass. Luckily the T&T defense had enough time to come back and held strong, escaping the ensuing danger.
Heath could have had second goal of the night in the 70th minute as she had enough time to get her feet set and look at the target before missing the target wide and to the left of the target. Moments later, Christian Press got involved in the action and her first-time shot was saved and pushed out for a corner kick.
Morgan scored her second and third goals in quick succession. The third goal, off of a very well designed set piece, with Julie Johnston and Brian combing before the latter lifted a ball over the Trinidad defense and Morgan finished the move off in style.
Canada will be a much tougher match up for the US, but if they play like how they did in their semi-final tonight, there should be little doubt as to who will win the tournament.