The stakes might be lower than during Friday’s semi-final matches, but today’s Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying championship match will still undoubtedly be full of sparks as long-time rivals Canada and the United States face off at 3:00 PM PT in Carson, Calif. Both teams have already qualified for the 2020 Olympics thanks to their semi-final wins, leaving continental supremacy up for grabs. These matches are almost always close-fought affairs, though the USWNT holds a massive edge in the overall competition with 50 wins, compared to 3 wins for Canada and 7 draws.
The United States beat Mexico, 4-0, in their semi-final, on the strength of a Sam Mewis brace, along with goals from Rose Lavelle and Christen Press. Reign FC’s Megan Rapinoe played 68 minutes and contributed assists on each of the first two goals. The USWNT extended their unbeaten streak to 27 matches. Much like during the group stage, the Americans were rarely pressured in the game and were able to push forward essentially at will. Canada will present a new challenge and force the U.S. defense to stay organized and focused in ways that haven’t been necessary in the past two weeks.
Canada defeated Costa Rica, 1-0, in the other semi-final thanks to a goal from Jordyn Huitema, her seventh of the tournament to lead all scorers. Canada dominated possession, but struggled to break down a robust Costa Rica defense, recording only one shot in the first half. Costa Rica had a few good looks on goal, and Canada’s defense will need to play at their best to withstand the firepower that the U.S. can muster.
There are less than 48 hours between the semi-finals and finals, so significant roster rotation is expected. With only 18 spots available on Olympic rosters, this will be a big opportunity for players to show their worth to both head coaches as they consider who to select for Tokyo. It’s hard to predict whether the teams will sit back, knowing that qualification is already secured and everybody is fatigued from the compressed tournament schedule, or whether caution will be thrown to the wind with the stakes so low and depth players looking to impress.
How to watch
United States vs. Canada
Date/Time: Sunday, Feb. 9, 3pm PT
Location: Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, California
Streaming: Fox Sports Go, TUDN en Vivo, YouTube (International)
This is your Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Final open thread. Watch with us.