Needing plenty of goals to go to the top of the standings, the USA was forced to open up on Costa Rica and the World Champions showed no mercy. USA defeated Costa Rica 5-0 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco on Tuesday night to get a perfect start to their Olympic qualifying campaign.
The match started brightly with Alex Morgan setting a record for the fastest goal scored in CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying history. From the kickoff, Lindsey Horan sent a long ball down to Carli Lloyd, who flicked it over the defense for Morgan to hold off her defender and shoot powerfully in to the back of the net, for not just the fastest goal in tournament history but also the fastest in USWNT history.
After a decent attempt at a comeback from Costa Rica, lead by Raquel Rodriquez Cedeno, the USA was 2-0 up in the ninth minute. Melissa Herrera fouled Crystal Dunn just inside the box, allowing new captain, Lloyd to bury the penalty.
Quickly it was 3-0 for the United States as a Becky Sauerbrunn long throw unlocked the Costa Rican defense. That allowed Horan to head a ball to Morgan, whose shot was saved by Diannia Diaz, only for Crystal Dunn to run on to the rebound that was well saved again by Diaz but sent back in to the net by Dunn.
After such a frantic start to the match, things calmed down with some better defense by Costa Rica, but with such a deficit it was always going to be difficult. USA was still on top but some impressive goalkeeping from Dinnia Diaz kept the score down to 3-0 at halftime.
It was a tight start to the second half but the United States quickly took charge of the match, but it took until the 62nd minute for a goal to come. Lloyd managed to dribble in to the box and then chipped the ball to Morgan, who easily headed home from close range.
The Americans made substitutions after that goal, trying to give more players game time, and that saw those players look to keep the United States attacking. There were plenty of chances for the USA but wayward shooting and good keeping kept out the World Champions.
The final goal came in the 83rd minute after a cross from Tobin Heath found Christen Press with her back to goal. Press settled the ball and was able to turn her defender and slam home the goal from close range, sealing the big win for the United States.