- USA and Canada to represent Concacaf at Tokyo 2020
- Christine Sinclair claims all-time scoring record during Olympic qualifiers
- Women’s Olympic Football Tournament to run from 22 July–7 August
With just over 160 days until the opening game of the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Tokyo 2020, we now know the two Concacaf representatives who will be going for gold in the Japan. Unsurprisingly, it will be four-time Olympic champions USA, and the bronze medallists from London 2012 and Rio 2016, Canada – the pair proving just too strong for other regional contenders like Mexico and Costa Rica.
FIFA.com brings you the key takeaways from the qualifiers.
No let-up from world champions
USA were just too hot to handle throughout the Olympic qualifying event, as their numbers – five wins from five, 25 goals for and none against – attest.
After cruising past their group-stage opponents (scoring four unanswered goals against Haiti, eight against Panama and six against Costa Rica), they were just as ruthless in their semi-final again Mexico (4-0) to ensure their presence at the Tokyo Games. With that part of the job done, they then downed Canada 3-0 in the final to win their fifth Olympic qualifying event.
Canada’s forwards on song
The Canucks were more effective than flashy during qualifying. Clinical finishing allowed them to swat aside St. Kitts and Nevis (11-0) and Jamaica (9-0) in their opening games, before rounding off the group phase with a 2-0 defeat of Mexico. They duly secured their ticket to Tokyo with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Costa Rica in the last four but were simply no match for USA in the final.
🌟 Players who made the difference
Christen Press (USA)
Regularly brought off the bench to replace Megan Rapinoe – as was the case at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ – the winger showed the full range of her repertoire both as a starter (three games) and substitute (the other two). With speed to burn, she was nigh-on unstoppable going forward and in one-on-ones, and weighed in with five goals of her own. It was no surprise to see her named as player of the tournament.
Jordyn Huitema (Canada)
Despite being just 18 years old, this was the moment in which Huitema’s immense promise – she enjoyed limited playing time at France 2019 – was realised. The teenager top-scored with seven goals (five coming against Jamaica) and also netted the goal that secured the Canucks their Olympic place when right up against it in their semi-final clash with Costa Rica.
🔢 The stat
185 — Christine Sinclair had been threatening to break the international goalscorer’s record for months, until her brace against St. Kitts and Nevis finally allowed the Canadian to pass the 184-goal mark set by Abby Wambach. As of today, her record stands at 186, but where will it be after Tokyo 2020?
🤔 Did you know?
Concacaf is the most successful confederation in Women’s Olympic Football Tournament history with seven medals in total: four golds and one silver by USA, and two bronzes by Canada. Will the region’s heavyweights add to that tally in Tokyo?