Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan Skyrocket USWNT Past Mexico in WCQ

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CARY, NC - OCTOBER 04: Alex Morgan #13 and Megan Rapinoe #15 of USA celebrate after a goal against Mexico during the Group A - CONCACAF Women's Championship at WakeMed Soccer Park on October 4, 2018 in Cary, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Cary, North Carolina (October 6, 2018) — The U.S. Women’s National Team found a spark to kick off FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying.

Six goals propelled the United States past the Mexican Women’s National Team. This was not the first time the two sides met this year; instead, the United States and Mexico met up in April. In both meetings, the United States claimed victory.

USWNT: Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan Help Catapult USWNT to Rout of Mexico

However, Thursday’s match was the only clean sheet against Mexico this year.

Megan Rapinoe opened the scoring account for the United States in the third minute. She ended the match, featuring the full 90 minutes, with two goals and one assist. Her second goal came in the 70th minute, while she assisted Alex Morgan’s 57th-minute goal.

After the match, Rapinoe said the win was a “great start” and a “big confidence boost.”

“We definitely wanted to come out, have a good performance and feel good about it,” Rapinoe said. “I think we did that today.”

Tobin Heath, who scored in the 61st minute off an assist from Crystal Dunn, said that having six goals in a tournament is “fantastic.”

“I’m really pleased with the team’s performance,” Heath said. “I thought obviously coming out scoring that goal right away was great, but we didn’t really get going again until the second half so just the discipline to play our game and follow through on the game plan was important. The second half was great with scoring all those goals.”

“It was exactly the way we wanted to start this tournament.”

Julie Ertz also tallied a goal in the 47th minute. Meanwhile, Morgan, like Rapinoe, had a brace, scoring her second goal in the 80th minute. The goal could have very well been Becky Sauerbrunn’s first goal, but the centerback selflessly slipped the ball to Morgan.

Morgan said the team is on “cloud nine” after the win.

“But we have to be cautious moving forward,” Morgan said. “When you get into World Cup qualifiers or any major tournament like this, teams step up and play at different levels and we have a huge target on our backs, especially after that first game. Now we’re looking forward to Panama.”

Speaking of Panama…

Marta Cox didn’t score as fast as Rapinoe, but she still didn’t waste time.

Cox scored the opening goal for Panama in the 12th minute against Trinidad and Tobago. The match was the opening game of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. Panama took the 1-0 lead into halftime.

However, in the second half, the floodgates opened.

Kenia Kristel Rangel Villarreal scored in the 68th minute and Erika Yaneth Hernandez slotted the game-winning goal past T&T goalkeeper Kimika Forbes in the 89th minute.

Trinidad and Tobago did take 10 shots, with four on goal. However, all were saved by Panama goalkeeper Yenith Bailey, a 17-year-old goalkeeper.

Group A Table

With the larger scoreline, the United States takes first-place in Group A. However, Panama isn’t far behind, also with three points.

The two sides will meet up on Sunday at 5 p.m. on Fox Sports 1. After, Trinidad and Tobago will take on Mexico. With the larger difference in the loss, Mexico is currently in last-place in the standings.

Here are the full standings, below.

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