Lynn Williams broke the ice on the hour. (Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports)
CARSON, Calif. — The United States finds itself in a familiar place today.
The Americans captured the Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship title, defeating Canada in the final, 3-0, at Dignity Sports Health Park on Sunday.
The USA, which hasn’t lost to Canada since March 11, 2001, improved its record at the stadium to 15-0-0.
The USWNT also did not concede a goal, outscoring its opposition, 25-0, in five matches. The squad registered a 4-0 win over Haiti, a 8-0 victory over Panama and a 6-0 triumph over Costa Rica in Group A, a 4-0 result in the semifinals vs. Mexico and then Sunday’s match.
Lynn Williams scored the first goal and set up scores by Lindsey Horan and Megan Rapinoe in the second half of a match that did not decide anything but essentially bragging rights in the confederation. Both teams booked a spot at the Tokyo Olympics with semifinal wins on Friday.
On the winning goal by the defending Women’s World Cup champions, U.S. left back Crystal Dunn sent a ball toward Williams, but Canadian right back Jayde Riviere got to first. While trying to pass the ball to a teammate, Riviere inadverently tapped it to Williams, who fired from 12 yards past goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé.
Horan tallied her sixth goal of the competition and 18th of her international career in the 71st minute. Second-half substitute Sam Mewis started the scoring sequence, sending an airball from the left flank to Williams on the right side. Williams then fed Horan, who scored from the penalty spot to double the advantage.
Rapinoe, a second-half sub, latched onto a perfectly weighted ball by Williams and tallied from 12 yards to close out the goal-scoring.
U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski decided to not to start several regulars in this match, including forwards Carli Lloyd, Tobin Heath and Rapinoe.
The USWNT dominated the opening 25 minutes of the first half before the Canadians found their footing.
Christen Press had the best American opportunities. She drove a shot from distance off the crossbar in the 33rd minute, almost lobbed goalkeeper Labbé from the right side a couple of minutes later and drilled a shot that Rose Lavelle accidentally deflected in the 43rd minute.
Canada striker Christine Sinclair (186 international goals), who broke retired USA forward Abby Wambach’s all-time scoring mark in the competition, almost broke the ice late in the half, but goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher saved her 1 v 1 attempt.