On Friday, the USWNT dismantled Panama in an 8-0 victory. Their steamrolling dominance continues, and it does not look set to slow any time soon.
The U.S. Women’s National Team are not double World Champions for nothing. Having defended their World Cup in the summer with a consummate tournament, the Americans have once again returned to their dominant ways in 2020.
In their second game of CONCACAF Olympic qualification, the USWNT dismantled an utterly overmatched Panama with an 8-0 victory. The opponents only charted one shot in the entire game. The USA finished with 39.
Panama used a very defensive 5-4-1 formation. While knowingly limiting their attack with this choice, there was the hope that they could sit deep and soak up pressure. In reality, the USWNT simply have far superior players. It was never going to be even vaguely close.
Too much time in the first half was spent in the Panama defensive zone — scrambles around the Panama net became so fierce that starting goalkeeper Yenith Bailey was lost to injury in the 33rd minute — while there was little to no counter-attacking threat to keep the USWNT honest at the other end.
The relentless U.S. scoring slowed a little after half-time, but as Panama tired in the closing stages, having chased the ball for the entirety of the match, the final 20 minutes saw the USWNT jump from a 4-0 to 8-0 victory.
Christen Press has now scored in three straight games, beginning with her last match against Costa Rica in 2019. Tobin Heath’s 78th-minute goal was sensational, Heath looking across the pitch as if to pass before pulling a finish into the near post and past the goalkeeper who had stepped across to prevent the supposed pass.
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Lindsey Horan, meanwhile, notched a hat-trick, while Lynn Williams, Rose Lavelle, and Jessica McDonald also added goals. This was an all-around dominant performance and result.
Following this incredible show of power, the women met center-pitch and were presented blue jackets. Then they slowly paraded around the stadium as the crowd roared their names. They visited fans and signed thousands of young soccer-playing girls’ caps and t-shirts.
So, in their first two matches in this CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament, the USWNT have been utterly dominant, result in steamrolling both Haiti and Panama. In their final group-stage match on February 3rd, they meet a much more capable Costa Rica squad that has also enjoyed recent success against Panama and Haiti. They have technique but not quite the dependable power and endurance of this United States side.
It will be a greater test, but the USWNT are rounding into form and there might not be anyone to stop them.