USWNT slips and slides to dramatic penalty shootout win over Canada

The U.S. women’s national team’s weren’t at it best in Wednesday’s CONCACAF W Gold Cup semifinal vs. Canada, but found a way to survive and advance to Sunday’s final.

Twila Kilgore’s squad outlasted the Canadians 3-1 in a penalty shootout after the two teams played out a 2-2 draw through 120 minutes. Canada pegged the United States back on two separate occasions, but the Americans used three penalty-kick saves and even one goal from Alyssa Naeher to book their spot into the tournament final vs. Brazil.

During warmups, the field was playable but by the time teams returned from their dressing rooms for kickoff, the pitch had been soaked through with rain as the ball was no longer able to move along the surface. Kilgore, along with multiple players, admitted postgame that the game should not have been played, but of course, it wasn’t their decision. With the game going ahead, the Americans had to adjust – and adjust they did.

Get stuck into tackles, don’t play a back pass defensively, and play directly in attack. Those were the instructions. The USWNT quickly understood these assignments but the same cannot be said of Canadian defender Vanessa Gilles.

After having an attempted back pass stop still in a puddle and be picked off by Jaedyn Shaw in the opening minutes, Gilles made the same ill-advised decision about 15 minutes later. Her pass, again, stopped in a puddle, and again, was picked off by Jaedyn Shaw. This time the teenager made no mistake slotting home her finish to become the first USWNT player in history to score in her first four starts for the national team.

“I think that the conditions really helped me get my goal. I feel like that was the main way that I got it,” Shaw admitted. “I just saw a big old puddle and just kept running and then chipped it over.”

A splishy-splashy, slip-n-slide game ensued until deep into the second half when Canadian striker Jordyn Huitema turned the game’s focus…


Source link : https://sbisoccer.com/2024/03/uswnt-slips-and-slides-to-dramatic-penalty-shootout-win-over-canada

Author : Justin Ruderman

Publish date : 2024-03-07 11:39:50

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