Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Team Canada lost to the United States in the Concacaf Women’s Championship final.

The long-running women’s soccer rivalry between Canada and the United States resulted in another memorable clash on Monday night.

The Americans won this Concacaf Women’s Championship final 1-0 thanks to a penalty kick, avenging Canada’s victory under similar circumstances in the semi-finals at Tokyo 2020.

The tournament served as a qualifier for both the next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup and Paris 2024. Canada qualified for the World Cup as they finished in the top four teams, but only the United States won the tournament to secure a place at the next Olympics.

Canada will have another chance to qualify for Paris when they take on Jamaica in September 2023. Jamaica beat Costa Rica to finish third in the tournament on Monday.

a hotly contested final

The Canadians and Americans entered this final with similar records: 12 goals scored in four games with four wins and no goals allowed. Canada was calm and in control for most of their last four matches.

But this time, against the world’s No. 1 ranked Americans, it was a completely different scenario.

From the first minute of the game, Canadian goalkeeper Callen Sheridan had to react quickly to block a close shot from American Mallory Pugh. Three minutes later, Alex Morgan forced Sheridan to dive again, but his shot went outside the post.

Nickel Prince gave the Canadian some chances to score early in the game. The 27-year-old took a few shots on goal from the left, including a 17th-minute kick that struck an American defender before hitting the crossbar.

The two teams exchanged possession of the ball, both looking for ways to beat the opposing defense.

Pugh had the chance to score another fine goal in the 31st minute, ending the 50-yard attack with a hard kick. But Sheridan put up a decent defense, catching the ball in his way. The American had an even better chance to score 10 minutes later when a midfield turnover beat United 4-2, but Pugh’s shot went over the horizontal bar.

Sheridan arrived just before halftime making a great save at the expense of Sophia Smith. The ball bounced close to the goal line, but Sheridan, with the help of defender Kadisha Buchanan, managed to keep the ball out of the net.

It all happened at the end of the game

The United States increased the pressure in the second half and almost paid off in the 64th minute, as Morgan delivered an excellent pass to Smith on goal. Smith managed to beat Sheridan but his shot went over the net.

As he had done in previous games, Canadian head coach Priestman sent him to the field as second-half substitutes for the attacking trio of Julia Grosso, Jordan Huitema and Adriana Lyonne. However, it was the Americans who had the best scoring chances.

Dyke eventually gave way in the 76th minute when Elisha Chapman, who replaced the injured Jayde Rivere, was awarded a foul on Rose LaValle inside the penalty area.

Morgan took the penalty shot, and as he has done before in his career, smashed Canada’s hopes by scoring the game-winning goal.

Canada gave their all in the last ten minutes of the match. Jesse Fleming attempted a long shot in the 84th minute, but was saved by USA goalkeeper Alyssa Naher.

In the 88th minute, Huitema led a pass from Chapman just above Naher’s goal. The American ran out of time with substitutions and possession of the good ball.

Although Team Canada fell short of its goal of qualifying for the next Olympic Games, two Canadian women were rewarded for their individual achievements. Grosso was named the tournament’s top scorer while Sheridan was named the top goalkeeper.

Nation World News Desk
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