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Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Notebook: USA, Canada punch tickets to Olympic Games
Two nations face off on February 9 to determine tournament winner
The U.S. women's national team faces Canada in Sunday's final in the Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Tournament (Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)
The U.S. women's national team faces Canada in Sunday's final in the Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Tournament (Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)

In two very different Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Tournament Semifinals on Friday night in Carson, Calif., a familiar result rang true as Canada and the United States were victorious, punching yet another ticket in each program’s history to the Olympic Games. For Canada, it is their fourth straight appearance at the Olympics as they look to build off back to back bronze medal performances. For the United States, they have made history by qualifying for all seven women’s soccer competitions in Olympic history, with only Brazil and Sweden joining them at every tournament. The USWNT finished in fifth place at Rio 2016.

The night’s first semifinal saw a Canadian attack that found plenty of success in the group stage stymied by a formidable Costa Rican defense, determined to pack in and get their goal on the counter. Las Ticas, similarly, were stopped from firing off any dangerous opportunities at Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé’s net. The Canadian’s breakthrough came through in the 72nd minute whenJordyn Huitema hit the post and corralled her own rebound into Costa Rica’s net for the game’s only goal. It was Huitema’s tournament-leading seventh goal.

For the United States, however, last night was much of the same success they have enjoyed throughout qualifying. Rose Lavelle of the Washington Spirit netted a beautiful curling effort in the fifth minute, extending the U.S.s’ streak of scoring during the first five minutes in every match of the tournament. Sam Mewis of the North Carolina Courage scored an impressive brace off of set pieces, and Christen Press of Utah Royals FC continued her hot streak and netted her fifth goal of the tournament to give the U.S. a 4-0 win. Additionally, Crystal Dunn earned her 100th USWNT cap.

Canada will take on the United States in the final of the Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Tournament tomorrow night at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif., at 3 p.m. PT / 6 p.m. ET. The match can be seen live on Fox Sports 2, or streamed on Fox Sports Go.

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