USWNT wins Concacaf Women's Championship with 2-0 victory over Canada

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Ronald Martinez
The Americans scored early and late to top their regional rivals and lift the regional title for the eighth time in history

The United States defended the Concacaf Women's Championship, seeing off Canada 2-0 thanks to an early goal from Rose Lavelle and a late tally from Alex Morgan on Wednesday.

It's the eighth regional championship for the U.S., which like Canada already had clinched its place in the 2019 World Cup in France with a victory in the semifinal Sunday. 

Lavelle put the U.S. ahead in the second minute and the goal was enough for the U.S. to see off its regional rival. Lindsey Horan put in a cross that a Canada defender knocked out of the box. The clearance went to the feet of Lavelle, though, and the Washington Spirit midfielder smashed a left-footed shot through a crowd. It dipped just before it reached the goaline and bounced over.

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That goal stood for most of the match with the U.S. pushing forward and controlling possession but unable to break through. That changed late when Alex Morgan doubled the lead.

The insurance goal came from a set piece. Horan controlled a corner kick from Megan Rapinoe and looped in a cross for Morgan, who headed it home. The goal ran Morgan's tally to seven during the tournament, making her the top scorer. She also has scored 24 goals over her last 24 international matches.

The win kept the United States undefeated in 2018. The Stars and Stripes are expected put that record on the line, closing the year out with a pair of friendly matches in Europe - though those matches are yet to be announced. Those matches will be the first preparations toward France, though manager Jill Ellis showed a preference for the 4-3-3 she utilized throughout the tournament, playing the same starting lineup in four of the five matches of the tournament.

That lineup didn't allow a single goal throughout the competition, though Canada did force goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher into action on a pair of occasions. That was busier than the shot-stopper was during the group phase and in Sunday's semifinal against Jamaica, which the U.S. won, 6-0. The Reggae Girlz qualified earlier Wednesday night with a victory on penalties against Panama

The U.S. also won the FairPlay Award, with Jamaica forward Jody Brown named the best young player of the tournament. Panama's Yenith Bailey was named best goalkeeper.

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