US vs. Trinidad and Tobago final score, recap

Sam Mewis USWNT

USA vs. Trinidad and Tobago final score, recap: USWNT one victory away from qualifying for World Cup

The losers of both semifinals will drop to the third-place game, where the victor will also go to the World Cup and the loser will head to an intercontinental playoff against Argentina for a final berth in next summer's showcase.

The U.S. Women's National Team had already guaranteed itself a spot in the 2018 CONCACAF Women's Championship semifinals entering Wednesday's match after two big wins over Mexico (6-0) and Panama (5-0) to start World Cup qualifying.

Rose Lavelle, who scored two goals on the night, believes that despite its unbeaten run, the US still hasn't peaked yet. That's nothing new. It's likely the US won't face any semblance of a test until the final of the Concacaf Women's Championship, by which point the World Cup ticket will already be secure.

Coach Jill Ellis started the same lineup she put out against Mexico in the opening game of the tournament October 4 after making nine changes to the lineup in the second match against Panama. The U.S. cruised through round-robin play in Group A with a 3-0 record, outscoring its opponents 18-0. Panama (2-1-0) was the surprise second-place finisher in Group A, besting Mexico, 2-0, on Wednesday in Cary.

The U.S. will now shift its focus to the next stage of the tournament with the semifinals scheduled for October 14 in Texas, while the finals are slated for October 17 as the Americans come one step closer to punching a ticket to the 2019 FIFA World Cup in France.

Alex Morgan's ninth-minute goal set the tone for a night of one-way traffic, and after the US hit the post four times, the floodgates opened en route to a 7-0 rout that capped a flawless 3-0-0 run through Group A. Morgan and Rose Lavelle each scored twice, while Lindsey Horan, Crystal Dunn and Tobin Heath also scored in a third straight dominant showing in Cary, N.C.

US forward Alex Morgan (13) and Trinidad and Tobago defender Rhea Belgrave (4) pursue cross. The American men lost to Trinidad and Tobago, at the time the world's 99th-ranked team, last October to miss out on qualifying for the World Cup.

"I can't see anyone beating them in the near future because they are so deep, " Trinidad and Tobago coach Shawn Cooper said.

They did not allow a shot in the first half of any of their three games in group play.

"I think the awesome thing is we know that we still haven't reached our full potential, " Lavelle said. "I think that's really exciting going into the next game".

With steady rain falling, Lavelle scored on a left-footed blast from outside the penalty area in the 41st minute to give the US a 2-0 lead. But the dam broke over the final five minutes of the half, with Lavelle scoring twice and Dunn adding one more for good measure, eliminating any hope T&T would've had at keeping it close. In particular, the injured Tierna Davidson could still force her way into a starting role at central defense, Samantha Mewis or Morgan Brian could overtake Rose Lavelle in midfield and Mallory Pugh or Christen Press could have a say at the wide forward positions.

"I'm good, " Lavelle said.

Morgan had her second multi-goal game in a week and the 25th in her global career.

With the win, the USA sets up a date with Group B's second-place side (likely Jamaica) on Sunday, with the victor clinching a berth at the 2019 Women's World Cup. After these three games in Cary, though, it is clear that the region's teams outside of the USA and Canada have a long way to go.

The U.S. extended its unbeaten streak to 24 matches and improved to 11-0-0 all time against Trinidad and Tobago.

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