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The United States and Panama both play their second match of the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship on Sunday in Group A.
The Americans got off to the perfect start with a 6-0 thrashing of Mexico on Thursday. Panama also tasted victory in their opener, as they beat Trinidad & Tobago 3-0.
The top two teams in each group will progress to the last four of the tournament. The winners of the two semi-finals, and the winner of the third-place match, all qualify directly for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup
Date: Sunday, October 7
Venue: Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park, North Carolina
Time: 5 p.m. (ET), 10 p.m. (BST)
TV Info: Fox Sports 1
Live Stream: Fox Sports GO (U.S.)
The U.S. team were in cruise control in their first match and will be favourites for victory again on Sunday.
Coach Jill Ellis handed Megan Rapinoe the captain’s armband against Mexico, and she led by example scoring twice and producing an inspirational display.
The 33-year-old will hope to continue the superb form she has shown for the national team in 2018:
Alex Morgan also scored twice and has formed a good relationship with Rapinhoe in recent games:
5 – Megan Rapinoe has eight assists in international play since April 8th. Five of them have come on Alex Morgan goals. Pals. https://t.co/1k73urNJks
Tobin Heath was another goalscorer on Thursday and explained how hungry the team are to attack, per ESPNW’s Graham Hays:
Graham Hays @grahamhays
“When we do win the ball, wherever we win it, we want to try and go forward as quickly as possible … and take advantage of any team that wants to open up and play against us.” -Tobin Heath on rampaging USWNT https://t.co/o5jBMbi5QX via @espnW
The American team has bags of pace, aggression and attacking power. They have yet to lose in 2018, and anything other than a comfortable win will be seen as a shock.
Panama will have been encouraged by their opening victory. Playmaker Marta Cox played a starring role and scored the tournament’s opening goal after 12 minutes.
They will also have been pleased to see Mexico beaten so heavily by the U.S., according to football journalist Austin Miller:
Austin Miller @austin_james906
The biggest winner tonight isn’t the US, but rather Panama. Their own win coupled with this thumping Mexico have taken has set them up nicely to qualify with a point against the Mexicans and a respectable loss against the US.
Los Canaleros are playing in the CONCACAF Womens’ Championship for just the third time, and while their opening win has given them a chance of making it to the semi-finals, they may get swept away by the United States.
Prediction: United States 4-0 Panama