FOOTBALL: U.S. and Canada into World Cup ‘19, to meet CONCACAF final

U.S. striker Tobin Heath

The goal of all eight teams playing in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship is to qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France in 2019.

Canada and the United States are in.

In Sunday’s semifinals, Canada stomped Panama, 7-0, and the U.S. breezed by Jamaica, 6-0.

That puts the no. 1-ranked American squad and no. 5 Canada into the final at Toyota Stadium in the northern Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas on Wednesday:

∙ Third: Jamaica vs. Panama 17 October at 5 p.m. Eastern (FS2 & UDN)
∙ Final: Canada vs. United States 17 October at 8 p.m. Eastern (FS1 & UDN)

Through the four games played so far, Canada has a 24-1 goals-against total, while the U.S. has a clean scoresheet at 24-0.

In a light rain before 7,555 spectators, the U.S. rang up a goal in the second minute against Jamaica, when Tobin Heath scored on a rebound of a Lindsey Horan shot for a 1-0 lead. In the 15th minute, Megan Rapinoe brought down a long cross on the left side, dribbled into the box and ripped a left-footed shot into the far upper right corner of the goal past Jamaican keeper Sydney Schneider and the issue appeared decided.

The lead reached 5-0 by halftime, with a third goal by Julie Ertz on a header off a Crystal Dunn cross from the left corner, then another from Heath (off a Horan service in front of goal) in the 29th minute and an Alex Morgan goal in the 33rd. Morgan scored her second in the 83rd minute on a penalty kick after she was taken down in the box to complete the scoring. The U.S. outshot Jamaica, 26-3, for the game.

The U.S. now has an unbeaten streak of 25 (22-0-3) games since a loss to Australia in mid-2017. In 2018, the U.S. women are 15-0-2 and have outscored their opponents, 60-10.

In the first semifinal, Canada outclassed Panama, 7-0. The game was scoreless through almost the entire first half, but Christine Sinclair scored just before the half for a 1-0 lead.

The game completely unraveled as soon as the second half started, thanks to goals from Jessie Fleming in the 47th minute and a header in the 49th minute by Sinclair again, for a 3-0 lead. All together, Canada outshot Panama by 25-1 and had 71% of the possession time and with goals by Janine Beckie (58th minute), Rebecca Quinn (63), and two from Adriana Leon (76 and 78), ended with a 7-0 shutout.

Panama and Jamaica will also play for a spot in the 2019 Women’s World Cup, with the loser moving to a two-leg playoff against Argentina for a final opportunity for a berth in France next summer.

This is the 10th edition of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, first held in 1991. The U.S. has dominated the event, winning in 1991-93-94-2000-02-06-14 and taking the bronze medal in 2010. All-time, the American women have now compiled a 31-1-0 record in this tournament (182-5 on goals scored!), losing only in 2010 and did not compete in 1999 as an automatic qualifier for the World Cup as the host country. Canada won the 1998 and 2010 tournaments.

Look for the scores here.