The USWNT won the CONCACAF W Championship for the ninth time after defeating 2021 Olympic gold medalists Canada 1–0. The USWNT also clinched an automatic spot in the 2024 Olympics, while Canada will participate in playoff games to award the final CONCACAF spot.
Both teams came into the matchup hungry for the chance to qualify for the Olympics, already having secured their 2023 World Cup spots. The lineups were consistent for both sides, which may surprise the fans of the nine-time CONCACAF winners.
Alyssa Naeher was back in goal for the US, with starts from Sofia Huerta, Andi Sullivan and Emily Fox, who returned from COVID-19 isolation. Canada featured starts from Kailen Sheridan in goal and Christine Sinclair up top.Embed from Getty Images
Overall, the USWNT played well together and looked more alive than usual. Over the past year, the US has seen inconsistency with their play and less chemistry on the field. This matchup was the first in a while that the US looked like themselves again.
Both Naeher and Sheridan also played smart in goal to only allow one goal all game. For Sheridan, luck was not on her side when a penalty kick occurred late on.
In the 78th minute, a penalty kick was awarded to the USWNT. Allysha Chapman tripped Rose Lavelle from behind, ultimately giving the US a chance to bag the game-winner. Alex Morgan was the shooter, and she expertly placed the ball in the back of the net—making Sheridan dive the opposite way.Embed from Getty Images
The lone goal stood as the only one in the match, and the USWNT won 1–0. The victory marked the national team’s ninth CONCACAF title, qualifying them for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.
After the match, Morgan and Canada’s Sheridan and Julia Grosso received individual awards.
Morgan received the Best Player Award after scoring three goals throughout the tournament, including the game-winning goal in the final. Sheridan was awarded Best Goalkeeper after only allowing one goal in the competition and making seven saves. Grosso earned Top Goal Scorer after scoring three goals in only 172 minutes of action.Embed from Getty Images
What’s up next?
The next match planned for the USWNT occurs in the September international window. They play Nigeria on September 3 and 6, marking the seventh and eighth matchup between the teams. Nigeria also qualified for the 2023 World Cup after placing fourth at the 2022 WAFCON, so it should be an exciting matchup.