If there was a team that had high hopes for the Concacaf W Championship to qualify for the World Cup, it was hosts Mexico. However, La Tri found themselves coming off of a surprising loss to Haiti in their previous match and in need of a win and help to make an inter-continental playoff. It wouldn’t turn out that way for the home team, but a spirited performance did force the Americans to work until nearly the end of regulation to find a 1-0 win.
The USA would rest some big names resting ahead of the knockout round.
The XI to close out Group A.— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) July 12, 2022
Mexico would... issue one of the worst lineup graphics possibly ever.
In the end, Mexico did well to match the skill and talent of the USA with spirit and tenacity as they sought an improbably victory. It nearly paid off, but a red card in the 73rd minute would curb their hopes of a win and a late goal by Kristie Mewis would turn that hope into defeat.
Gifs of... a hard fought match
The game started with the USA effectively pressing Mexico into their own third as the hosts tried to play out of the back. Between nerves and being outmatched, La Tri struggled badly to connect passes and advance the ball upfield. However, they made up for their mistakes by staying compact defensively and managed to hold off the USA attacks. Outside of Midge Purce hitting the post in the 15th minute, Mexico did very well to keep the Americans at bay early.
That trend would continue through the half as the next big opportunity wouldn’t come until Purce found a wide open Lindsey Horan in the box a few minutes before the half, but the midfielder’s shot was right at Mexico keeper Itzel González. As a result, the teams would go into the half at nil-nil.
It seemed like it would be more of the same as the second half got underway. The USA dominated but couldn’t find a breakthrough. In the 73rd minute Lisbeth Ovalle committed a dangerous foul against Rose Lavelle. After a VAR review, the call was confirmed and Mexico would be down to 10 players for the match.
MEXICO ARE DOWN TO 10 PLAYERS AS LIZBETH OVALLE IS SHOWN RED. pic.twitter.com/O8wNeYmiEV— Attacking Third (@AttackingThird) July 12, 2022
The next 17 minutes would see Mexico make up for being a player down by attacking with the same energy as if they held the player advantage. A few late chances wouldn’t result in a goal though. In fact, it would be the Americans who would find a later winner. In the 90th, Kristie Mewis pounced on a loose ball after a corner and put the USA ahead 1-0.
KRISTIE MEWIS IN THE 89TH MINUTE. pic.twitter.com/nWAXrE4bmq— Attacking Third (@AttackingThird) July 12, 2022
A VAR check would confirm the goal and after 8 minutes of stoppage time, the Americans emerged victorious. The win gave the Americans the group win and set the stage for a semi-final against Costa Rica.