The United States women’s national team defeated Canada 1-0 on Monday night in Monterrey, Mexico to win the Concacaf W Championship and book their ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Veteran striker Alex Morgan led the USWNT to victory, scoring a penalty late in the second half to secure the triumph in the last match of the tournament. The game served as a rematch of last summer’s Olympic semifinal, in which Canada won 1-0 before going on to win the gold medal in Tokyo. But on Monday night, it was the Americans’ turn to shine.
“It always feels good to be called a champion, so this game just feels good to us,” said Morgan after the match. “Canada gave us a run for our money, but we prevailed and we feel good about it.”
Morgan’s 78th minute penalty marked her 118th overall career goal for the USWNT. inspiring her win as Player of the Tournament at the W Championship.
“I wasn’t with the team the last eight months,” Morgan added. “So I could just focus on San Diego and that helped me mentally and physically and then coming back to the team my role just increased and that felt good. I feel good overall, I’m happy, healthy and confident and feel like I can contribute exactly what is being asked of me. So I’m in very good form right now.”
Her contributions throughout the competition earned her the honor Player of the Tournament at the W Championship.
But the entire team pulled off a winning performance on Monday, as Mallory Pugh, Sophia Smith and Morgan propelled forward with stars Lindsey Horan and Rose Lavelle not far behind to provide support. Pugh and Smith, in particular, managed stunning shots on goal, but somehow Canada goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan kept it out of the net.
On the other end, Canada had their fair share of opportunities late in the game, including a stunning header from substitute Jordyn Huitema that just went wide. Christine Sinclair and Janine Beckie also saw some action inside the final third, but nothing goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher couldn’t handle.
The victory extends the USWNT’s overall World Cup and Olympic qualifying record to 60W-1L-1D, with the last and only loss vs. against Mexico in 2011.