U.S. Women beat Costa Rica 3-0 to advance to playoff

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

With their backs against the wall and in a rather unusual spot, the U.S. women's national team responded in appropriate fashion, defeating Costa Rica 3-0 in the CONCACAF Third Place game.

Lauren Cheney opened the scoring with a goal in the 17th minute, creating space at the top of the box and blasting a shot that deflected past Ticos goalie Dinnia Diaz. Abby Wambach scored on either side of the half to extend the lead and put the game out of reach in Cancun.

Next up for the U.S. women is a two-game playoff against Italy for a spot in the 2011 Women's World Cup. The first leg of the series will be held in Italy on November 20, and the second to be hosted at Toyota Park a week later on November 27.

Here are the highlights from Monday's game:

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What did you think of the result? Can the U.S. take care of Italy and make the World Cup?

Share your thoughts below.

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26 Responses to U.S. Women beat Costa Rica 3-0 to advance to playoff

  1. Three step process, step one done.

  2. jonk says:

    It’s kinda sheisty that qualification comes down to one tournament (Gold Cup) on foreign soil. But best of luck to them in the 2-leg against Italy.

  3. jonk says:

    Also, goal number 2 was a sweet technical finish.

  4. WeatherManNX01 says:

    Actually, the Costa Rican women are called Las Ticas, not Los Ticos. Feminine and masculine, respectively.

    Frankly, I don’t like these tournaments that end with nonsensical “champions”. Once you’ve qualified, does it matter who wins the tournament? I’d rather see the remaining four play in a final round robin group with first and second advancing to the World Cup and the third advancing to playoff. Yeah, it’s another three games, but I really don’t think that a playoff bracket suits the qualification process.

  5. Nick says:

    Agreed. The qualifying needs to be revamped. A one off tourney for qualifying isnt correct, much less holding it in a competing teams country – be it be in Mexico or any other country. It would have been a travesty (still could be) to have the undoubtedly best team in the region not qualify for the finals due to one loss.

  6. John c says:

    After watching this game, I am thankful that Julie foudy is not a commentator for usmnt games. Never again do I want to hear boxy or lil or any other nickname that only teammates give each other.

  7. RedLine55 says:

    well, we do call one of our defenders “Gooch” on a regular basis… so, you know…

    /but I agree that was a bit hard to listen to.

  8. amy says:

    ew yeah, she was god-aweful. She discussed one player’s tactics from a previous match in which that player was not even rostered. But the guy, who I’m sure is a better commentator, knew absolutely jack about women’s soccer. He kept calling the US players by the wrong names; I mean that takes like 10 min of research on your lunch break. idiot. I should have stuck with the concacaf spanish broadcast, so much better.

    I did enjoy Hope Solo’s sarcastic swipe at Foudy (from twitter):
    “Oh foudy, please stop talking about goalkeeping. Just stick with lil, abby and 99. You got that down to a T!”

  9. yankabroad says:

    I agree about the tournament. Why not play home and away and make it a hexagonal? The early qualifying rounds where teams like Haiti and Guatemala qualified for the final round featured home and away matches within the concacaf region. I don’t see how this would be any different!

  10. yankabroad says:

    I completely agree with Amy above about Adrian Healey. He may know something about the EPL but his lack of overall knowledge of women’s soccer was vastly apparent last night. I find it extremely disrespectful to the women’s game and that ESPN would allow him to commentate on USA women’s games. His calling Abby Wambach who is one of the best strikers in the world “Amy Wambach” on several occasions was unforgivable. For you readers who don’t watch women’s soccer this would be like a HOME announcer calling Francisco Torres or Didier Drogba by the WRONG NAME. In addition, how do you get Alex Morgan (who is a brunette and tall) mixed up with Amy Rodriguez (who is short and blonde)? He is obviously picking up his paycheck and reading off a piece of paper. In fact, he sounds like a person in a call center in another country reading the script off the paper when you call — he can’t deviate from what is written on the paper because he knows absolutely nothing about the subject.

    I don’t particularly like Foudy as a commentator because of her nasal tone and chitter chatter, but I would take her ANY DAY over Healey. She might call them Lil’ and Abby but at least she knows who the players are.

    I thought I would never say this but J.P. Dellacamera knows WAY more than Adrian Healy about the USWNT. Other ideas are Brandi Chastain, Lori Walker, Tony Dicicco (who was in the studio) or just about anyone that would take their job seriously.

    Regarding our play, I was not impressed. We’ll have to play a lot better to beat Italy.

    I’m off to Spanish class now so that I can become fluent before the Women’s World Cup.

  11. Be Reasonable says:

    “we’ll have to play a lot better to beat Italy”

    No we won’t. Italy is terrible.

  12. KenC says:

    They can send their C team and beat Italy.

  13. ButBeWorried says:

    They already proved once this week that just showing up and assuming victory does not always work. Yes we should have no problem with Italy, but that was not the kind of performance last night that would cause Italy to think they had no chance.

  14. harry says:

    Gooch is a defender? Thought he was a revolving door lol

  15. RB says:

    Well Italy at #11 was ranked a touch higher going into this tournament than Canada (#13), who won this tournament, and considerably higher than Mexico (#22), who beat the US in this tournament. I was there for both last night’s match and the loss on Friday, and after that experience, I’d say the last thing anybody should be doing is underestimating the opposition. Even in the win last night, the change to 3-0 was a razor’s edge from being 2-1 less than a minute before, when a Tica nicked the post and the rebound rolled back across the length of the open goal. And recall the near loss to China (14) just prior to this tournament.

    I was there last night and at the loss on Friday night, and this team is just not cohesive right now. They looked downright drugged for much of the first half, Friday night, and played right into the Mexican team’s hands by losing their focus and composure later in the second half, too (even if the ref was buying every dive the female Tri threw out there). It was painful to watch such disintegration.

    All credit to them for pulling it back together quickly, though, and doing what they had to do to survive. And I expect they will handle Italy, and the ultimate effect of the loss will be Mexico rather than Italy going to Germany next summer. But counting before hatching seems a particularly bad idea right now.

    That 2nd goal was a thing of beauty, I agree. You could see it coming. :-)

  16. Myles B says:

    In other news…

    CANADA WON!!!!

  17. Alex G says:

    In other news, who cares?, Im just hoping they learn their lesson and handle Italy, it would be a total disaster if they don´t go to Germany.

  18. RB says:

    LOL

    Yes, they did. It was a single goal off a PK and they didn’t add to it even given well over 30 mins of play against a Mexican side fielding only 10. But then the shot was going to be a goal until the Mexican player pulled a Juarez handball move and got ejected, too. A win is a win, even if they weren’t as impressive as they were against Mexico last week or other teams, previously. So good on them.

    And thanks to Ives for the coverage.

  19. RB says:

    *Suarez! (damned autocorrect!)

  20. Myles B says:

    Only for the US, for all the other teams it’d be great!

  21. Josh D says:

    I’d imagine it’s cost: There simply isn’t any for the women’s team so traveling home and away for each game is out of the question.

    It makes far more financial sense to keep it in one area.

  22. metasyntactic variable says:

    Are there alot of Spaniards in Germany?

  23. NC Jeff says:

    Well, at least CONCACAF has a better shot at 3 WC teams. Also, if the USA wanted to be WC champs again, they would’ve possibly had to beat Italy anyway.

  24. Kevin Smith says:

    The Mexicans in the final were not the same Mexicans as in the group game.

    And while Canada didn’t add to its lead, they did manage to stay composed after a clear penalty was not called late in the first half (something our men don’t/can’t do), and gave up 0 goals the entire tournament. Defense wins championships.

  25. elcorrecto says:

    And you just just did it by calling Fernando Torres “Francisco”!!!

  26. Can someone please tell me, what happened to Hope Solo?