MONTERREY – The United States Women’s National Team have qualified for the Concacaf W Championship final. On Thursday evening, they played Costa Rica in the semifinals and were led by Emily Sonnett.
Emily Sonnett Leads USWNT to past Costa Rica to Concacaf W Final
Vlatko Andonovski made five changes to the starting lineup that defeated Mexico midweek. The Americans controlled the game from the start. They had great chances in the first half but did not score till the 34th minute. Alex Morgan had a great chance on a volley with just the keeper to beat but missed the near post. Morgan put the ball in the net later in the half on a play that was called offside.
Lindsey Horan put the ball up in the air and off the post in the 34th minute off a corner. Sonnett got to the ball first, taking two attempts to put the ball into the back of the net. It was her first goal for senior national team goal.
Mallory Pugh made it 2-0 in the third minute of first half stoppage time. Both sides battled for possession just outside the box. Rose Lavelle backheeled it through a gap for Pugh to run onto and score. The half ended 2-0.
The second half continued in a similar trend. Lavelle, Horan, and Sophia Smith all had looks. Megan Rapinoe subbed on to help push for a third, but they could not finish. Costa Rica had little going for them in attack as the conceded possession and kept numbers behind the ball.
The match appeared to be destined to end 2-0, but Ashley Sanchez scored in stoppage time to ensure the scoreboard reflected the performance.
— Concacaf W (@ConcacafW) July 15, 2022
Three Key Takeaways:
Job done with squad rotated: Andonovski has done well rotating the squad and making substitutions in the last two games. Andi Sullivan is the only player in front six that went 90 minutes in this game. Becky Sauerbrunn and Sonnett are the only two players to go 180 minutes in the last two games. They’ve dominated in this tournament and will have fresh legs for the final.
Early finishing wasn’t there though: This is the second straight game where it took awhile to score. It could have easily been 2-0 in the 40th minute of this game. They didn’t score till second half stoppage time against Mexico. They’re dominating games but that hasn’t always been reflected on the scoreboard. Is this a concern? Not really. Is it something to be aware of going into the final? Yes.
Las Ticas didn’t have it: Costa Rica never looked in it once they conceded. Just two shots, neither on goal. They had no ideas going forward to try and break down the Americans. That did not change with the score. The opponent being superior is no excuse for the lack of intent and intensity.