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Three Takeaways: CanWNT Battled Hard but Loses in Penalties

The CanWNT Fought Hard But Loses in Penalty Shoot-Out Loss

The CanWNT battled hard but were not able to take advantage of their penalties. As a result, the USWNT win against the CanWNT in the Concacaf W Gold Cup semi-final round. Penalties played a big role in the win, but there was a lot more to unpack in this game.

CanWNT Battled Hard, but the USWNT Wins Thriller in Penalties

The USWNT Got Behind the CanWNT Backline

While Canada’s defence in general was good, there were times when the U.S. was able to get behind Canada’s backline. Examples of this include:

  • Trinity Rodman had a clear chance, but the puddle stopped her from advancing the ball.
  • Alex Morgan was able to get past the CanWNT defence a few times.

There was then USA’s second goal, where Rose Lavelle headed the ball to Smith for the goal. This was a critical goal as it forced to Canada to catch up again.

A Mistake Led to the USWNT’s First Goal

The conditions probably played a key part in this, but Vanessa Gilles pass was short, and it resulted in a goal scored by Jaedyn Shaw. The wet pitch might have played a role in this, but Gilles did not anticipate Shaw getting to the ball and to Shaw’s credit, she was alert.

To give credit to Gilles, she did earn that penalty in extra-time, which was eventually scored by Adriana Leon. However, that first goal given up felt a bit too easy for the U.S. to convert.

Alyssa Naeher the Hero In Penalties

The biggest reason why the U.S. are moving forward was the penalty shoot-out. The U.S. slotted their penalties much better than the Canadians and that is why they won the game. Alyssa Naeher was a big reason for that victory as she made three saves and converted on one herself.

However, it was also how the penalties were taken. The penalties for the USWNT found the bottom corner three of the four times while the CanXNT/CanWNT penalty shots were easy to stop, with the notable exception of Quinn’s goal. This is what Naeher said about the win against Canada (source: Concacaf):

“Yeah, I think this is something we’ve been building on for the last three and a half weeks. And I’m just really proud of the team tonight and very, you know, not ideal conditions and tough game to play. Good, good opponent as always and just really proud of the group for, you know, digging really deep in this one and battling for 120 minutes.”

Other Factors: CanWNT Battled Hard

READ MORE: Adriana Leon: The Prolific CanWNT Striker

Yes, Canada got the late penalty that tied the game in extra-time. They also tied the game in extra-time thanks to a goals scored by Jordyn Huitema. Canada never gave up in the game and it almost resulted in them making the Concacaf W Gold Cup Final. This is what CanWNT head coach, Beverly Priestman, said about the fight back (source: CanWNT X Account):

“I’m just super proud. I think the group would massively take the step forward. I think that’s clear to me. The mindset of the group, we were in it, and we weren’t, we were pushing and we were pushing, we went right to the wire, and we come back twice. I think there’s something to be said for that in that belief in the group. Yeah, now we use this opportunity to review and be ready for when it comes July 25 at the Olympic games, but I’m just just proud of the effort.”

There is certainly optimism with the Canadian team. They have belief that they can win the Olympics and can toe-to-toe with the second-best team in the world according to the FIFA Rankings. There will now look forward to the SheBelieves Cup games happening next month.

It is also important to note that Canada could have gotten one-two other penalties in normal time The foul on Deanne Rose early in the game looked more obvious as it looked like she got fouled in the box and should have been a penalty. Then there was Jessie Fleming being fouled in the second half. From the replay it also looked like she was fouled. However, there does seem to be a better case that the U.S. player got more of the ball with the foul on Fleming than the ball on Rose. Also, the Canadians were probably exhausted throughout the game.

However, credit must also be given to the U.S. They could have lost all confidence when they gave up that late equalizer in extra-time, but they kept their composure and looked confident with their penalties.

READ MORE: Analysis: Evelyne Viens Makes Her Name For The CanWNT

Weather Conditions and Games Coming Up For Both Teams

READ MORE: Cloé Lacasse: A Rising Star With The CanWNT

The one area the Concacaf W Gold Cup must work on is to make sure the games are played on better surfaces. The competition has been a great spectacle to watch in its inaugural edition, however this game should have been postponed for another day. This is what the head coaches of both national teams, CanWNT Priestman and USWNT head coach, Twila Kilgore, said about the game being played (source: Henry Bushnell of Yahoo Sports):

“Probably not,” said Kilgore. Priestman would have similar sentiments, “”It’s obvious that the game was unplayable.”

Hopefully, there will be some answers on this for future games in this tournament on how to deal with situations like this. It will also be an issue the NWSL and MLS will be monitoring as the NWSL’s San Diego Wave FC plays there, while the San Diego FC will become the 30th franchise in MLS next year. In addition, the San Diego Legion of Major League Rugby also play at the stadium.

For the USWNT, they have a chance to win another trophy as they face Brazil on Sunday at 8:15 PM ET. This is while the Canadians next game will be next month in the SheBelieves Cip as they face Brazil on April 6, 2024, at 12:30 PM ET. Fans can watch both games live on OneSoccer. Brazil made the final of the Concacaf W Gold Cup after beating Mexico by a scoreline of 3-0, also at Snapdragon Stadium.


Photo Credit: Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports, of a USWNT Headshot, on March 6, 2024.


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