US / USWNT / World Cup - International

Rodriguez scores hat trick in WC qualifier

After handing Haiti a 5–0 drubbing in the first match of group play in the CONCACAF qualifiers for the 2011 Women’s World Cup, on Saturday the US faced Guatemala, who had lost their first match 1–0 to Costa Rica. Ninety minutes later, the score was 9–0 in favor of the US with three players scoring two or more goals, including a hat trick for Philadelphia Independence forward Amy Rodriguez.

After an opening 20 minutes of play that saw the US stymied by an energetic Guatemala side, Rodriguez opened the scoring when she pounced on the deflection from a shot by Heather O’Reilly.

Less than a minute later, Megan Rapinoe made it 2–0 with a long-range shot.

Abby Wambach made it 3–0 in the 29th minute with a powerful header off of a free kick from Rapinoe. Wambach netted her second goal of the match—her fifth of the tournament—three minutes later. Receiving a pass from Carli Lloyd, Wambach cut to the middle of the box and powered a shot that the keeper got a hand to but could not stop.

A pass from Lloyd in the 40th minute was received by Rapinoe who then scored her second goal of the match with a hard left-footed shot from 18 yards out.

In first half stoppage time, Lloyd completed her hat trick of assists when her bouncing shot from the top of the box was redirected by Rodriguez for her second goal of the match.

Alex Morgan, in for Wambach, made it 7–0 in the 49th minute. When Morgan was fouled in the box in the 55th minute, Lloyd converted the penalty kick to add her first goal of the tournament to her five assists.

Having started off the scoring, Rodriguez finished it in the 88th minute. Morgan raced down the left wing, beating two defenders before laying off a pass that Rodriguez finished with a left-footed chip into upper right corner to record her first career hat trick.

“I was fortunate enough to find myself around the net and score three very unique goals for me,” Rodriguez said, “but at the end of the day, it’s more about reaching the semifinals and making it to the World Cup.”

The US will now play Costa Rica on Monday. Costa Rica are also undefeated in Group B and have secured a place in the semifinals. If the US wins or draws against Costa Rica, they will secure first place in the group and face the as yet undetermined second place team in Group A. Canada and Mexico are undefeated in Group A and will meet on Tuesday.

Costa Rica has not conceded a goal in its last four matches. The US and Costa Rica have met twice before in CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers, five times in all competitions. The US won both qualifying matches with a combined score of  15–0, all five matches with a combined score of 27–0.

You can view the match live at 9:30pm via a free video web stream on CONCACAF.com.

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