Carli Lloyd (#10) scored two goals in the USA's 3-0 win over Mexico in the semifinals of the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship on October 24, 2014, at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania, USA. (Photo: Mexsport)
CHESTER, Pennsylvania – The United States clinched a place in its seventh straight World Cup with a 3-0 win over Mexico in the semifinals of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship (CWC) on Friday at PPL Park.
Carli Lloyd scored two goals and Christen Press added one to avenge a loss to the Mexicans at the same stage of the competition four years ago.
As well as earning a berth for Canada 2015, the Americans will face Costa Rica in the CWC final here on Sunday. Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago will meet in the match for third place, the winner of which secures a place in the FIFA event.
In what was arguably the USA’s most solid performance in four tournament outings, the six-time CONCACAF champion employed a high-pressure tactic from the opening whistle.
An early dividend was paid, when Lloyd netted her first of the game in just the sixth minute. The impressive Tobin Heath delivered a left-sided cross that Lloyd headed home confidently from the edge of the six-yard box for a 1-0 lead.
Later in the half, Heath was in the middle of the action again, compelling referee Sheena Dickson to point to the spot after getting tripped in the left side of the box.
Lloyd took the subsequent penalty and hammered it past goalkeeper Pamela Tajonar in the 30th minute to double the advantage.
Following the break, the U.S. maintained a high level of intensity in the search for additional goals. It would have netted more than one if not for the woodwork’s intervention on multiple occasions.
Sydney Leroux hit the crossbar from close range, lunging for a whipped in right-sided cross by Meghan Rapinoe.
Christen Press struck for the second time in as many games in the 56th minute. From the middle, Leroux slipped an appetizing through ball into the path of Press, who was charging in from the right. The 25-year-old forward latched on to beat Tajonar.
The six-time CONCACAF champion continued to generate chances without breaking through again.
Just past the hour mark, Leroux was thwarted by the post, while Lloyd’s bid for a hat-trick was denied in the 75th minute for offside.
With six minutes left in normal time, Press would also strike a post.
It didn’t matter, though. Three goals proved to be more than sufficient for victory.
The U.S. posted its fifth win in six all-time CWC games against Mexico, which was outshot, 21-1.
To view Highlights of this game, click here.