Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images
The United States women’s national team is headed to the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
The Americans clinched their spot in the Games with a 1-0 victory over Canada in Monday’s final contest of the CONCACAF W Championship at Estadio BBVA. The United States will now be one of two CONCACAF representatives in Paris, while Canada will face third-place finisher Jamaica in a playoff in September 2023 with the other spot on the line.
Jamaica defeated Costa Rica 1-0 in Monday’s third-place match.
The lone goal in the title game came on a penalty kick by Alex Morgan in the 78th minute after Rose Lavelle drew the foul in the box.
Monday’s clash was a showdown between two powerhouses, as the United States is No. 1 in the FIFA rankings and defending World Cup champions, while Canada is No. 6 and defending Olympic champions.
The Americans entered play unbeaten against their North American rivals in nine previous meetings at a CONCACAF final, but Canada defeated them 1-0 in the semifinal of the last Olympics thanks to a late penalty kick.
Revenge didn’t come easy, as the game was scoreless deep into the second half even though the Red, White and Blue created far more chances.
While the opposing defense and goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan deserved some of the credit for keeping the game scoreless in the face of a consistent attack, the eventual victors also failed to capitalize on the opportunities with a number of poor shot attempts.
That changed when Morgan stepped to the ball after the penalty, and the result seemed inevitable from there, given the way much of the game unfolded.
It was the third goal of the tournament for the two-time World Cup champion and four-time CONCACAF Female Player of the Year, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the Americans.