October 18, 2018 / 2:22 AM / a month ago

U.S. blanks Canada to capture CONCACAF crown

Rose Lavelle scored early and Alex Morgan late as the U.S. national team defeated Canada 2-0 to win the CONCACAF Women’s Championship on Wednesday in Frisco, Texas.

Oct 17, 2018; Frisco, TX, USA; United States midfielder Rose Lavelle (16) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the first half against Canada in the 2018 CONCACAF Women's Championship final soccer match at Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

By reaching the final of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying tournament, Canada and the U.S. had already qualified for the 2019 World Cup in France, but the bragging rights for North and Central America and the Caribbean were on the line.

Lavelle got her sixth international goal in the second minute. Morgan added insurance in the 89th minute with her 97th U.S. goal.

She has 24 goals in her past 24 games, including 17 in 17 matches this year.

Lavelle’s goal meant the U.S. had scored in the opening 10 minutes of all five qualifying matches. She was 21 yards out when she whipped a left-footed shot to the lower right corner past goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe for her sixth goal.

Canada’s best opportunity in the first half came midway through when Kadeisha Buchanan’s header forced Alyssa Naeher to make a save at the left post.

Megan Rapinoe tried to give the Americans a cushion in the 67th minute, but Labbe lunged to her right to push the shot away. In the 79th, Crystal Dunn completed a long run for the U.S. with a pass into the box to Morgan, who spun and fired just wide of the right post.

The U.S. dominance on all fronts continued. The Americans are 16-0-2 this year — without conceding a goal in 704 minutes — and 23-0-3 since July 2017. The U.S. is 32-1-0 all-time in World Cup qualifiers and 49-7-3 vs. Canada.

Earlier, Jamaica defeated Panama 4-2 on penalty kicks after a 2-2 draw to also earn a trip to France. Panama will meet Argentina in a two-leg playoff for another World Cup spot.

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