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Alex Morgan’s Fireworks Send USWNT Over Haiti In World Cup Qualifying Opener

by Michael Lewis

Alex Morgan scores her team's first goal during the match against Haiti during the 2022 Concacaf W Championship on July 4, 2022 in Monterrey, Mexico


Alex Morgan struck twice within a seven-minute span in the first half and Midge Purce added another goal in the second half to spark the U.S. women’s soccer team to a 3-0 victory over Haiti in the opening match of the Concacaf W Championship on Monday night at Estadio Universitario in Monterrey, Mexico. 
The win started off the reigning world champions on their quest to qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the Olympic Games Paris 2024. 
The top four teams in the Concacaf W Championship will qualify for next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The tournament champion will book a spot in the 2024 Olympics, with the second- and third-place sides battling for the other berth in a playoff. 
Goalkeeper Casey Murphy, playing in her sixth international match, recorded the shutout for the U.S. It was the Americans’ 30th clean sheet in 34 World Cup qualifiers dating back to 1991. 
Morgan got things going in the 16th minute when she back heeled home a Mallory Pugh feed from the right side to lift the U.S. into a 1-0 lead. It was Morgan’s first international goal since last October.
Only seven minutes later, Morgan doubled the U.S. margin as she found room between two defenders headed in right back Kelley O’Hara’s cross from seven yards. 
Morgan has 10 Concacaf World Cup qualifying goals and 117 total in international play. It also was her first multi-goal game since Morgan tallied five times in the 2019 Women’s World Cup opening win over Thailand. 
Haiti had a golden opportunity to cut the lead in half in the 42nd minute after defender Emily Fox took down Melchie Dumornay in the penalty area after she beat U.S. captain Becky Sauerbrunn on the dribble. Roselord Borgella, however, slammed her attempt off the left post as Murphy dove in the opposite direction. 
The Caribbean side dodged a giant bullet in the 45th minute when the referee awarded Borgella a red card for a high kick foul on O’Hara. However, the call was overturned by the video assistant referee (VAR), and the red was rescinded to a yellow card.
Purce, a halftime substitute, closed out the scoring from 12 yards in the 84th minute. 
The U.S. will meet Jamaica on Thursday and will finish the group stage against Mexico on Monday, July 11.

Michael Lewis, who covers soccer for Newsday, has written about the sport for four decades and has written six books about soccer. He is a freelance contributor to on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc
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