FRISCO, Texas (Feb. 13, 2016) – The U.S. Women’s National Team assured itself a place in the semifinal of the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship with a 1-0 win against Mexico at Toyota Stadium. With the win, the USA now sits atop Group A with six points, three clear of Costa Rica and Mexico.
The six points puts the USA through to the semifinal round in Houston on Feb. 19 as Costa Rica meets Mexico in the Group A finale for both teams on Feb. 15 and only one of those countries can accrue six points. The winners of the semifinal matches qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
The USA will take first place in the group with a win or a tie against Puerto Rico on Monday, Feb. 15 (7:30 p.m. CT, NBCSN) as it continues its quest for a berth to the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
In a match that saw Mexico play defensively in a 5-4-1 formation the entire match, the Americans at times struggled to break down a highly organized bunker, but the USA finally broke through on a penalty kick in the 80th minute. Carli Lloyd’s initial low, driven shot was well-saved by Mexico goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago, but Lloyd was first to the rebound and rolled it into the open net for the game’s lone goal. The USA earned the penalty kick when Karla Nieto was whistled for a hand ball in the box.
Earlier in the day, Costa Rica defeated Puerto Rico 9-0 in Group A action, tying both the Ticas and Mexico for second in the group with three points each, but Mexico (+5) leads on goal differential over Costa Rica (+4) heading into their match-up on Monday. With a win or a tie, Mexico will join the U.S. in semifinals. Costa Rica needs to win to advance.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
Carli Lloyd, 80th minute: The USA earned a penalty kick thanks to a hand ball by Mexico’s Karla Nieto in her own penalty area after Alex Morgan attempted to bring down a cross. Carli Lloyd’s low, driven shot was saved by Mexico goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago, but Lloyd followed up the ensuing rebound and tucked it in the center of the net to give the U.S. the deciding strike. USA 1, MEX 0 (SEE GOAL) FINAL
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA - Hope Solo, 87th minute: Mexico carved out it's only real goal scoring opportunity late in the match, getting off a dangerous shot from distance that was headed into the top of Solo's net before the USA's all-time leader in goalkeeper wins calmly pushed the ball over the crossbar.
Next on the Schedule: The U.S. WNT completes Group A play in the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship on Monday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. CT against Puerto Rico at Toyota Stadium. The U.S. is attempting to qualify for a sixth consecutive Olympic Games and win the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship for the fourth consecutive time. The match can be viewed live on NBCSN, NBC Universo and NBC Live Extra.
- Carli Lloyd leads the team with 11 all-time Olympic Qualifying appearances, followed by Hope Solo with 10. Lloyd is now four goals behind Abby Wambach’s U.S. record of 14 goals in Olympic qualifying.
- The match in Frisco marks the WNT’s fifth at this stadium (formerly Pizza Hut Park and FC Dallas Stadium). The USA owns a 5-0-0 record, including a two wins against Canada, and victories against Costa Rica and New Zealand prior to tonight’s match.
- The U.S. WNT extended its streak to seven consecutive games in CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying without allowing a goal, dating back to the Final of the 2008 Qualifying tournament when the U.S. tied Canada 1-1 on April 12, 2008 and went on to win in penalty kicks 6-5.
- Seventeen-year-old Mallory Pugh played the final 15 minutes, earning her 3rd cap and seeing action in her third consecutive match.
- Christen Press and Jaelene Hinkle were also second half subs, with Press adding a spark to the attack and almost scored several times, including a shot that banked off the left post.
- Pugh, Hinkle and Press were also the three subs vs. Costa Rica on Feb. 10
- The WNT remains unbeaten in all-time CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying with a 15-0-1 record.
- The WNT improved to 32-1-1 all-time against Mexico.
- Carli Lloyd has now scored 84 international goals. She is in sixth place on the WNT’s all-time scoring list. Lloyd has scored 21 goals in the USA’s last 16 matches starting with the Round of 16 game vs. Colombia at the 2015 Women’s World Cup.
- Solo is the all-time leader caps (188) and wins (142) for a goalkeeper in U.S. history with.
- Solo added to her WNT record shoutout total and now has 93.
- Becky Sauerbrunn earned her 98th cap and could reach the century mark during the tournament, becoming the 35th U.S. woman to play 100 times for the WNT.
- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: Feb. 13, 2016
Competition: 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying – Group A
Venue: Toyota Stadium; Frisco, Texas
Kickoff: 3 p.m. CT
Weather: 64 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
MEX 0 0 0
USA – Carli Lloyd 80th minute
USA: Starters: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger (2-Mallory Pugh, 75), 8-Julie Johnston, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 7-Meghan Klingenberg; 14-Morgan Brian, 9-Lindsey Horan; 16-Crystal Dunn (12-Christen Press, 46), 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.), 17-Tobin Heath; 13-Alex Morgan (19-Jaelene Hinkle, 84)
Subs Not Used: 3-Samantha Mewis, 5-Kelley O'Hara, 6-Emily Sonnett, 15-Stephanie McCaffrey, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 20-Alyssa Naeher
Head coach: Jill Ellis
MEX: 1-Cecilia Santiago; 2-Arianna Romero, 3-Janelly Farias, 4-Alina Garciamendez, 15-Monica Flores; 7-Nayeli Rangel, 8-Teresa Noyola (18-Tanya Samarzich, 87), 17-Verónica Pérez (6-Karla Nieto, 71), 16-Desiree Monsivais; 11-Mónica Ocampo, 9-Maribel Domínguez (10-Katlyn Johnson, 69)
Subs Not Used: 5-Valeria Miranda, 12-Bianca Henninger, 13-Greta Espinoza, 14-Annia Mejia, 19-Paloma Zermeńa, 20-Esthefanny Barreras
Head coach: Leonardo Cuellar
Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 16 / 2
Shots on Goal: 6 / 2
Saves: 2 / 3
Corner Kicks: 7 / 3
Fouls: 11 /11
Offside: 3 / 1
USA - Tobin Heath (caution) 33rd minute
MEX - Teresa Noyola (caution) 48
Referee: Melissa Borjas (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Shirley Perello (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Emperatriz Ayala (SLV)
4th Official: Marian Leon (SLV)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Lindsey Horan