November 7, 2010
MUST WIN QUALIFIER
U.S. women vs. Costa Rica in WWC Monday
With a direct berth to the 2011 Women’s World Cup lost due to the United States' stunning loss to Mexico on Friday, the Americans are faced with the task of refocusing against Costa Rica at Estadio Quintana Roo in Cancun, Mexico with a victory in the third-place match earning CONCACAF’s berth in a two-game playoff against Italy.
|Abby Wambach has six goals in this World Cup Qualifying tournament.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Italy finished fifth in European qualifying, defeating Switzerland in the final playoff series. The U.S.-Costa Rica encounter will kickoff at 6 p.m. ET and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 with Adrian Healey and Julie Foudy handling the commentary. Fans can also watch the match on ESPN3.com as well as CONCACAF.com
A U.S. victory would set up a two-leg home-and-series with Italy for the WWC in Germany. Italy navigated its way through two difficult playoff series’ in Europe to earn its Confederation’s fifth spot. The first leg is set for Padova, Italy on Nov. 20. The return leg is scheduled for Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. on Nov. 27. Kickoff times are to be determined.
The winner of that playoff series will be determined by the total goals scored over the two games. If the teams have scored the same number of goals over the two matches, the goals scored in the away match will be counted as double. If the total goals are the same at the end of the two matches and same number of goals are scored away, then two 15-minute extratime periods will be played followed by penalty kicks, if necessary.
This will be the second time in eight days the U.S will face Costa Rica. The teams played in a Group B match on November first, with the Americans coming away with a 4-0 win on a first half goal from Abby Wambach and a second half scores from Lauren Cheney, Yael Averbuch and Alex Morgan.
Monday night’s match will mark seventh meeting between the teams with the USA winning them all. The last match between the USA and Costa Rica before this tournament came in qualifying for the 2008 Olympics with the Americans winning 3-0 in the semifinal match to earn their berth to Beijing. The match was actually played in a wild dust storm in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Costa Rica played a solid first 15 minutes in the game on Nov. 1, creating three chances to score in the early going before the USA took control and eventually out-shot Costa Rica, 13-5.
Costa Rica won its first two matches of the tournament over Guatemala and Haiti, but since then has lost two 4-0 games to the United States and Canada. In its semifinal match, Costa Rica held Canada scoreless through the first half before surrendering four second half goals, including an own goal in stoppage time.
Wambach scored in all three first round games and has six goals total in the tournament, tied with Mexico’s Maribel Dominguez for most in the tournament. Her six goals have upped her career total to 115 and she now has nine career WWCQ goals. With one more, she will tie Carin Gabarra for third place on the USA’s all-time Women’s World Cup qualifying goal scoring list. She now sits behind only Michelle Akers (17), Mia Hamm (12) and Carin Gabarra (10).
Amy Rodriguez has four goals in the tournament. Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan have two each and Lauren Cheney, Yael Averbuch and Rachel Buehler have one a piece.