Soccer – U.S. to defend Women’s World Cup title after securing qualification

(Reuters) – World champions the United States will have a chance to defend their title at the 2019 Women’s World Cup after a 6-0 win over Jamaica in the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Championship on Sunday sealed their qualification.

Oct 14, 2018; Frisco, TX, USA; United States forward Alex Morgan (13) and her team celebrate the win over Jamaica in a 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship soccer match at Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

In the other semi-final in Texas, Canada also grabbed their spot in next year’s tournament in France with a 7-0 victory over Panama with captain Christine Sinclair scoring twice.

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The top three teams from the Americas-region championship qualify for the World Cup. The U.S. play Canada in the final on Wednesday after Jamaica and Panama have fought it out for the other qualification spot in the third-place playoff.

The loser of that match will still have a chance to reach France, but will have to get past Argentina in an intercontinental playoff.

The U.S. are the most successful national team in women’s soccer, having won the World Cup three times.

Canada reached the semi-finals of the tournament in 2003 and went out to England at the quarter-final stage on home soil in 2015.

Reporting by Christian Radnedge; Editing by Nick Mulvenney

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