Mewis’ late goal lifts USWNT, eliminates Mexico from World Cup contention – Press Enterprise

MONTERREY, Mexico — Kristie Mewis scored in the 89th minute to break a stalemate and the United States beat Mexico, 1-0, on Monday night at the CONCACAF W Championship.

Mewis was at the goal line, where she used her knee to knock in a rebound of a shot by Emily Sonnett before goalkeeper Itzel Gonzalez could reach the ball. The United States appeared offside on Mewis’ goal, but it was not reviewed.

The U.S. (3-0-0) won Group A in the eight-team tournament and will face Costa Rica in the semifinals on Thursday (4 p.m. PT). The Americans, the two-time defending Women’s World Cup champions, had already qualified for the 2023 Cup (to be held in Australia and New Zealand) as one of the top two teams in their group. Their other objective is to win this eight-team event to secure an automatic berth in the 2024 Summer Olympics.

“I think that’s what makes the U.S. really special is that identity of relentlessness, never say die, really will it in,” defender Becky Sauerbrunn said. “Luckily tonight the ball bounced in our favor.”

Mexico went down a player in the 73rd minute when Lizbeth Ovalle was issued a red card after a video review for her challenge on Rose Lavelle. Ovalle got her studs into Lavelle’s ankle.

The U.S. shortly after nearly took advantage when Alex Morgan made a near-post run on a corner kick by Megan Rapinoe, but her header sailed past the far post.

Mexico got its only shots on goal against Casey Murphy in the 87th minute by Jimena Lopez.

While the U.S. needed a win or draw to finish first in the group heading into the semifinals, Mexico was in desperation mode after losses to Jamaica (1-0) and Haiti (3-0). The hosts needed a victory to possibly earn a berth in an inter-confederation playoff.

Mexico (0-3-0) played an inspired first half and got a little early luck when the United States’ Margaret Purce sent a shot from the right side through the Mexican goal box and off the far post in the 15th minute.

“I was very happy to see at the end that we still found a way,” U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t nice, but in order to win big tournaments, we know that sometimes you just have to find a way, and we were able to do that.”

While Mexico (0-3-0) was stout on defense against the top-ranked U.S., the hosts still saw their World Cup qualifying dreams dashed.

“If we want to compete on these stages, we have to work in a different way,” Mexico coach Monica Vergara said.

Jamaica (2-1-0) beat Haiti, 4-0, on Monday night to qualify for its second straight World Cup and advance to a semifinal match against Canada. Bunny Shaw had a pair of goals, and Trudi Carter and Drew Spence also scored for the Reggae Girlz.

Haiti (1-2-0) finished third in Group A but will have a chance to make the World Cup when it plays in an intercontinental playoff in February in New Zealand.

The teams at the W Championship participated in a moment of silence for Jedine Carr, a player for Jamaica’s youth national team who was fatally shot on Friday while on the way to training with her club team.

Canada (3-0-0) beat Costa Rica, 2-0, earlier Monday to win Group B. Both teams had previously qualified for the World Cup as the top two finishers in their group.

Jessie Fleming scored in the fifth minute and Sophie Schmidt added a goal in the 69th for the Canadians, who have not conceded a goal in the tournament.

Panama beat Trinidad and Tobago, 1-0, on Monday to secure third place in Group B and a spot in the intercontinental playoff for another chance to make the World Cup field. Marta Cox scored for Panama just before halftime.

The winner of the eight-team W Championship will earn one of the region’s spots in the 2024 Paris Olympics. Canada won the gold medal at the Tokyo Games.

“We’ve talked about how we’ve got the World Cup, but this Olympics, it means the world to this group, and that’s where we’re heading,” Canada coach Bev Priestman said. “We knew we had to keep our standards high for where we’re going. Overall, I thought it was a professional performance wasn’t perfect, but it was professional.”

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