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USA defeats Costa Rica, keeps alive hopes of qualifying for 2011 Women's World Cup

By Steve Goff

Abby Wambach of the Washington Freedom scored twice and the United States kept alive its hopes of qualifying for the 2011 Women's World Cup with a 3-0 victory over Costa Rica on Monday night in Cancun, Mexico.

The Americans, who suffered an unfathomable loss to Mexico on Friday in the semifinals of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament, will next face Italy in a two-game, total-goals playoff: Nov. 20 in Padova, Italy, and Nov. 27 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. The winner will advance to next summer's World Cup in Germany.

The United States, undefeated in World Cup qualifying history until Friday, has won the seven all-time meetings with Costa Rica by a combined 34-0. Since 2002, the Americans' overall record is 158-9-24.

For match details.....

After a bland start, the Americans went ahead in the 17th minute when Lauren Cheney created space for herself with a clever move and fired a 17-yard shot that caromed off a defender and behind the committed goalkeeper, Dinnia Diaz.

Wambach scored her first of the evening in the 33rd with an eight-yard, left-footed volley that Lori Lindsey set up with a superb ball over the top of the defense.

Five minutes into the second half, the match took a dramatic turn. About 20 seconds after the Ticas' Monica Malvassi hit the left post on a breakaway, Cheney pushed the ball to Wambach for a low, 15-yard shot into the far corner for her 117th international goal in 147 appearances.

By Steve Goff  | November 8, 2010; 7:52 PM ET
Categories:  CONCACAF, Women  | Tags:  women's soccer  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Maryland, Virginia, Georgetown, Virginia Tech invited to NCAA women's soccer tournament
Next: Tuesday kickaround: Bill Clinton and FIFA, USA under-20 squad, MLS weather, Americans abroad, TV listings


They got it done tonight, and that's about it. I expect much more from this team. They look like a group that is less than the sum of its parts right now.

Posted by: YesMomStillPlaying | November 8, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

The decline of the WNT since I started watching them in 1992 is sad to see. Poorly executed corner kicks; lead-footed first touches; pathetic shots (except for Wambach); really slow outside defenders with no ability to recover; unimaginative passing (except for Lindsey). "Where have you gone, Mia Hamm (and Michelle Akers, Carin Jennings-Gabarra, Joy Fawcett, Judy Foudy, Shannon MacMillan, etc. etc.) A nation turns its lonely eyes to you."

Posted by: jack35 | November 8, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

They may be in decline, but the game on the 27th should earn some $$$ for the program....

Posted by: fischy | November 8, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Well, I only saw the first half but they looked a couple of orders of magnitude better than in the Mexico game. Maybe that's not saying much, though.

Posted by: BooThisMan | November 9, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Poor outside defending you say?

I'll bet Lori Chalupny agrees. I probably do, too.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 9, 2010 6:45 AM | Report abuse

The uswnt to a player is much faster than the Ticas. It is not even close. Great they got the win, but the score should have been more like 9-0.

There is no flow to their game. When they weren't passing the ball to the other team, or kicking it out of bounds while under little or no pressure, what little passing there was was not accompanied by any movement. It was pass toa stationary player, who would backpass or lose the ball.


Posted by: Ron16 | November 9, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

I saw most of the 2nd half, after the last goal, and for once I agree with Ron16. We didn't play well. Maybe it was the score coupled with fatigue, I don't know.

As far as decline, 1992 was one year after the firs WWC. What you're saying, jack35, is that 91 was the high water mark for the WNT. I have to disagree because the team in decline won another WWC, two Olympic golds, and a crate full of Algarve Cups.

And thanks to JfA-ish for the commentary on the previous thread.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 9, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 9, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

wa-a-a-a-a-ay off topic, but bear with me.

I just returned from a visit from the Mauritius National Archives. Mauritius was a French colony until 1810, when it was lost to Britain as spoils of the Napoleonic Wars.

The English, not really wanting a hostile occupation, offered the local Francos a deal: accept George III as monarch and British sovereignty and they could keep their language, customs, laws, etc.

The locals took the deal, but the British required that every formerly French citizen take an oath of allegiance as a new subject of George III, a process that took several years to complete. These signed oaths -- thousands of them -- are among the treasures of the archive.

As it happened, there were seven American citizens living in Mauritius at the time. Given the unpleasantness of 1776 and 1812, the English insisted that the Americans sign oaths of loyalty as well. If not allegiance, they had to attest that they would take no act or make no statement detrimental to the crown or its government.

Among those seven Americans, was a MR. STEPHEN GOFF, who signed on March 15, 1815.

So, I think it apparent that our Steve Goff's Eurosnob soccer tendencies are clearly genetic.

Posted by: troy6 | November 9, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

I-270, I agree with your post, but you did forget to say "a crate full of *prestigious* Algarve Cups".

This USWNT is a team that relies on athleticism, of which it has plenty. I lost count of the number of times the Ticas played the ball nicely into space behind the US backline, only to have the in-the-clear Tica dribbler run down from behind by a US defender and dispossessed. If the Ticas front line had cut down on the tacos, then maybe they would have at least hung a goal or two on the US side.

The problem is this USWNT team has a low soccer IQ, their passing is terrible, and their touch is even worse. When they come up against a *soccer* team that can match or at least come close to their athleticism, they will lose.

Oh, and Abby Wambach should have seen a straight red for deliberate intent to injure when she hacked down the Tica who dispossessed her at about the 75 min mark. That was a disgusting cheap shot, and it wasn't her only one in the match.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 9, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Mauritius! That's a fair piece of walkin', Troy. What brought you there?

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | November 9, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Among those seven Americans, was a MR. STEPHEN GOFF, who signed on March 15, 1815.
Posted by: troy6 | November 9, 2010 8:15 AM

I looked up March 15, 1815 on Wikipedia. There was a match between Mauritius and the Seychelles. Steve's ancestor must have been covering it.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 9, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Does Mauritius have land for a stadium? Is it near a Metro station?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 9, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see the USA WNT win last night ON TV!!!- Thanks ESPN and hope to be able to see the WNT play Italy on TV ALSO!!!Agree the team needs to do some work and refine touches and passing. They need to improve before playing the better teams!

Posted by: soccerhead | November 9, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Apparently there was a goal scored from the grassy knoll.. US Soccer's website states WNT4, Costa Rica 0.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 9, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

4-0 was the score of the first USA-Costa Rica game. Probably just a typo.

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | November 9, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Some people call me Mauritius,
'Cause I speak of the pompatus of love.

Posted by: OWNTF | November 9, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Did Goff sell Seychelles by the seashore?

Posted by: hofbrauhausde | November 9, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Did Goff sell Seychelles by the seashore?

Posted by: hofbrauhausde | November 9, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Yellow cards to both of you and a second yellow to hofbrauhausde.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 9, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

No-no-no "Mauritius" is a rousing chorus from "Fiddler on the Roof".

Posted by: Ron16 | November 9, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

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