The United States Women’s National Team had a bit of a scare in Olympic qualifying today. Going against a formidable Mexico team, the USWNT won 1-0 after a controversial handball call that many were saying was a bad call. The result clinched a berth in the semifinals for the USWNT where a win there earns a trip to Rio.
Mexico held the United States scoreless for the longest time and proved to be a very defensive side who was no doubt frustrating the World Cup champs. But the controversial call in the 77th minute undid all of that.
Mexico was whistled for a handball in the box but it appeared like that was a rather strict call. The Mexican player was pulling her hand back and it was rather inconclusive if the ball actually hit her hand or not. But, despite that, the USA had a penalty kick and a chance to lead late.
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After two shots off the post earlier in the game, the USWNT had a chance to take the lead and seal the game. Carli Lloyd’s penalty kick was saved but she put in her own rebound to give the US a 1-0 victory and a spot in the semifinal where they will likely face Trinidad and Tobago or possibly Canada.
This scare should give the United States a notice that anything can happen and if they aren’t careful, they won’t be going to Rio. That wasn’t to say that the team played bad, they were pretty good, they just faced an organized Mexico team that they probably didn’t expect and barely got the win. The USWNT has two more games for Rio. This game will be shown on tape delay at 9:30 PM ET on NBCSN tonight while the all important semifinal qualification game will be shown Friday night live on NBCSN.