USWNT are on to the CONCACAF Women’s Championships Semifinals

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The U.S. Women’s National Team made a hell of a run through the group stage of the CONCACAF Women’s Championships. Three wins, 18 goals scored and zero conceded; the USWNT are on their way to Frisco Texas for the CONCACAF Women’s Championships semifinals!

The tournament field drops from eight teams to four as the semifinals loom. USA and Panama made it out of group A; while Canada and Jamaica went one and two out of group B. Here’s a look back at how each team fared in the group stage, and a look forward to the the CONCACAF Women’s Championships Semifinals.

Group A recap:

Group A was dominated by the USWNT. USA showed no mercy, and proved their quality. Over three matches they rotated their strong attackers and midfielders and there was no drop off in quality. They took care of an under-performing Mexico side, winning 6-0. They followed that result up with a 5-0 win over Panama. Panama’s 17-year-old keeper Yenith Baily was a bright spot, but US still found ways to score. The final match against Trinidad and Tobago the U.S. found put up 7 goals to eliminate their opposition from contention. USWNT finished first in their group and will play the runners-up of group B in the CONCACAF Women’s Championships Semifinals on Sunday.

The surprise of group A was Panama side that  showed the will to try to secure their first ever trip to the World Cup. They started the group stage off with a 3-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago. Followed that major win with a hard-fought loss to USA. They concluded the group stage in a crucial match against Mexico. The winner was destined for the CONCACAF Women’s Championships Semifinals. In the first half Mexico had a chance to go up after a penalty was awarded. The attempt was parried away by teenage phenom Yenith Baily. Panama went on to score twice in the second half to secure their spot in the semifinals, eliminating Mexico.

Mexico finished third in Group A after. This squad was lauded as the best Mexican side ever; their play did not show that. Starting off with a loss to the USWNT didn’t help Mexico’s confidence. A follow-up win against T&T got their train back on the tracks, but their fate was decided in the match against Panama. The first half penalty save for Panama in the decisive match deflated Mexico. Mexico could not stop Panama’s counter attack in the second half, and concede two goals that crashed their World Cup chances.

Trinidad and Tobago were a dark horse in the group. They were seen as the team that could challenge for a spot in the semifinals. Unfortunately for them, their play did not yield positive results. In all three matches T&T sat back, allowing pressure to come. They looked to dispossess their opponent and hit them on the counter attack. This did not go so well as they scored just once and conceded 14 goals.

Group B recap:

Group B’s Champion was Canada. Their group stage campaign started with a 2-0 win over Jamaica. Jamaica showed some fight, but Canada’s class bested them. A second win followed as they put 12 goals past Cuba. Cuba looked like they were not ready to play, which sums up most of their tournament. Their final match against Costa Rica secured another three points and the top spot in the group. Costa Rica needed a win to advance, which would have eliminated Canada; however Canada prevailed.

Jamaica are another nation who made a surprise run in the CONCACAF Women’s Championships group stage. They started the tournament off with a tough loss to Canada. They needed to rebound and they did just so against Costa Rica. Jamaica  were able to grind their way to a 1-0 win over Costa Rica. They finished the group stage by putting nine goals past Cuba. Their slim win over Costa Rica was the difference in Jamaica making the Semifinals. 

Costa Rica competed well in the group stage but were failed to make it to the Semifinals. Their first game formed a good foundation as they defeated Cuba eight-zero. The second match against Jamaica was crucial, but they could not build on their opening win. Their loss to Jamaica made their final match against Canada a play-in game. They came up short, and failed to show their quality. While they were a favorite to finish second, they crashed out of the tournament and miss the 2019 World Cup.

Cuba were happy to have the opportunity to be in CONCACAF Women’s Championships, but were no match for the other teams in their group. They let up 29 goals and did not score a single one. Their poor performance made it easy for the other three nations to get a confidence building game. Canada and Jamaica made the most of that, Unfortunately Costa Rica did not.

One win away for qualifying for the World Cup:

USA, Canada, Panama and Jamaica are all one win away from qualifying for the 2019 World Cup! A win puts two nations in. A third place game will determine another automatic bid and a play-in match. The winner of the third place match automatically qualify’s, while the loser can still qualify by winning a play-in match against Argentina.

The CONCACAF Women’s Championships Semifinal matches are set for Sunday.

Canada vs. Panama; 5:00 PM; FS1 or Fox Sports GO app.

USWNT vs. Jamaica 8:00 PM; FS1 or Fox Sports GO app.

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Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

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