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November 2, 2010
U.S. Women blank Costa Rica

CANCUN, Mexico – The U.S. Women’s National Team earned its third consecutive shutout by defeating Costa Rica 4-0 to win Group B at the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament Monday night.

Abby Wambach nailed a first half penalty kick, upping her tournament total to six and her career total to 115, while Lauren Cheney, Yael Averbuch and Alex Morgan scored in the second half. The USA scored 18 goals over the three group games while allowing zero.

The victory earns the Americans the right to face the second place team from Group A in the semifinal on Nov. 5 at 8 p.m. local / 10 p.m. ET for a berth to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. Fans can watch live on and follow on’s MatchTracker.

The USA’s opponent will be either Canada or Mexico, who face each other for first place in Group A on Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. local / 9:30 ET. Canada needs just a tie to win the group while Mexico would need to win. The first place team in Group A will face Costa Rica in the semifinals.

The U.S.’s constant first half pressure finally produced a goal when Cheney was taken down in the penalty box in the 31st minute after she had settled a long free kick from Amy LePeilbet. Wambach scored the pk on the USA’s first shot on goal of the half.

Cheney made it 2-0 in the 68th minute off a right side corner kick from Averbuch. The ball bounced around in the box for a moment before Cheney struck a blistering volley over and through goalmouth traffic and into the roof of the net from about eight yards out.

In the 73rd minute after Morgan was taken down about 27 yards out, Kristine Lilly touched a short square pass to the right and Averbuch drilled a swerving shot past substitute goalkeeper Priscila Tapia who came on for the inured Dinnia Diaz. It was Averbuch’s first career goal for the national team.

The final goal came in the 81st minute, as 75th minute substitute Heather O’Reilly beat her defender and drove to the end line before playing a ball to Morgan who tapped a shot through three defenders and past Tapia from three yards out.

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