The semifinals of the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying were played on Friday, Nov. 5 in Cancun, Mexico. Canada defeated Costa Rica with four goals in the second half, and Mexico pulled off one of the greatest upsets in soccer history by dominating the game against the USA and winning it 2-1. As a result of these matches, Canada and Mexico will be participating in the World Cup in Germany next summer.
Canada didn’t have a good start to their game, but they piked things up and were able to create a few good chances as well as Costa Rica. The first goal came in at the 62nd minute mark. Josee Belanger was able to score off a rebound. Ten minutes later, Jonelle Filigno added another goal on a one-on-one with the ‘keeper. Just three minutes later, Christine Sinclair secured the win with a goal of her own making it 3-0 on a shot from 6 yards out. Daniel Cruz finished it off with an own goal in stoppage time to give Canada the 4-0 win.
The other semifinal was one of the greatest matches ever for what it means to the team who won. Mexico came out ready to prove that they can beat the USA. They scored within the first three minutes of play on a goal from none other than Maribel Dominguez, also known as “Marigol.” The USA went into panic mode right away and never relaxed, never found a rhythm, and never connected more than maybe 5 passes. The were able to score a goal in 25th minute when a corner kick bounced to Carli Lloyd who shot on frame. But then, just a minute later, Mexico took the lead again courtesy of Veronica Perez who placed a header just inside the far post where Nicole Barnhart could not reach.
This was Mexico’s first win against the USA. The USA had won 24 of its 25 meetings with Mexico. This is a big upset, and I’ll admit I’m upset, but this win is great for Mexico and women’s soccer in that country.
Back to qualifying. The USA, however, is not our of the World Cup yet. They have to win the third place match against Costa Rica. If they win, they will play Italy away on November 20, and at home on Nov. 27. The winner of those matches (goals for decides the winner if both team win either one game) will go on to play in the World Cup.
The CONCACAF Championship match will be on Nov. 8, as well as the third place match, but times are not set yet. Keep an eye out on concacaf.com where you can also watch the matches live.