USWNT defeats Haiti 6-0, advances to World Cup qualifying semifinals
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. women's soccer team completed Part I of its trip to the 2015 World Cup by doing the expected, dominating play Monday night in a 6-0 win over Haiti to finish unbeaten — and unscored upon — in group play in the CONCACAF championship.
Abby Wambach had two goals, and Carli Lloyd, Meghan Klingenberg, Christen Press and Morgan Brian also scored for the Americans, who advanced to the semifinals to be played Friday and Sunday at the Philadelphia Union's stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania. The top three teams qualify for next year's World Cup in Canada, while the fourth-place team will face Ecuador in a playoff.
The loss eliminated Haiti, which had put together a valiant, low-funded qualifying effort while training in months-long spurts in Indiana. The Haitians are 0-4 overall against the U.S., having lost 10-0 in 1991, 8-0 in 2004 and 5-0 in 2010.
The Americans are winning in a no-win situation, the overwhelming favorite facing small countries where women's soccer is a low priority. Canada, the other North American powerhouse, isn't in the tournament because it automatically qualifies for the World Cup as the host nation.
So there was considerable concern when the U.S. managed only a 1-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago to open the tournament. That was followed by a more comfortable 5-0 rout of Guatemala. In each game — and again on Monday — the Americans controlled the action against an underdog that packed its own box and hoped to somehow score on a counterattack.
The U.S. outshot the Haitians 20-1, including 12-0 in shots on goal. Ashlyn Harris, getting a rare start in place of Hope Solo, got the shutout without having to make a save — just as Solo did against Guatemala.
The biggest hiccup along the way has been the sprained ankle for forward Alex Morgan against Guatemala, ruling her out for the rest of the tournament.
Lloyd scored in the ninth minute, chesting down a punch-clearance by goalkeeper Geralda Saintilus and converting the half-volley. Wambach headed in a deflected cross in the 39th, and Klingenberg added her first U.S. team goal with a 25-yard drive in the 57th.
By then, the Americans had worn the Haitians down. Wambach's second — and 173rd all-time — came in the 61st. Christen Press made it 5-0 in the 65th, and Brian made it a half-dozen in the 82nd.
The U.S. improved to 25-1 all-time in World Cup qualifying. The Americans are also unbeaten in 90 games (79-0-11) at home.