United States seal passage to Rio

The United States will be in Rio to defend their Gold Medal after a 5-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago at BBVA Compass Stadium on Friday night sealed their passage to the tournament. Alex Morgan was the star, managing a hat-trick in a clinical performance from the World Champions.

Alex Morgan celebrates wrapping up her hat-trick

Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

After it was tight in the early minutes the USA opened the scoring in the 12th minute through Tobin Heath. After a great run in the box, Heath was able to get on the end of a perfect ball from Mallory Pugh, allowing Heath to send it past Kimika Forbes.

That goal led to the match being all USA from that point on as the World Champions controlled proceedings. Wave after wave of US attack came at the Trinidad and Tobago goal, but Kimika Forbes was up to the task.

The second goal finally came after the half hour, as the USA broke through to double their advantage through Morgan. Kelley O’Hara sent in a cross for Lindsey Horan, allowing Horan to head the ball back for Morgan to hit on the run, past Forbes and in to the back of the net.

If those goals didn’t seal things, Carli Lloyd, on her home ground, did so just before the break as she put USA three goals up. Morgan Brian sent in a corner, which found her captain, allowing Lloyd to head through Forbes’ arms, making it 3-0 at the break.

The second half, saw the United States just look to control possession and keep hold of their big lead to qualify for Rio. Trinidad and Tobago never really looked in the match, with the USA holding all of the possession.

USA had their fourth in the 71st minute, putting it away after the ball was bouncing around in the box. Samantha Mewis’ header was blocked by Jenelle Cunningham, falling to Morgan, who returned the header, only for Cunningham to head the ball on to the bar. The rebound fell for Morgan yet again, and this time she buried the chance, tapping it in from close range.

It took just two minutes for the final goal of the match to come as Morgan sealed her hat-trick thanks to a Brian cross. Brian’s ball was perfectly weighted, finding the great run of Morgan, who was able to easily send it in to the back of the net.

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