USWNT Qualify For Their Fifth Straight Olympic Games, Defeat Costa Rica 3-0

DRESDEN, GERMANY - JULY 10: Hope Solo, goalkeeper of USA celebrates after she saves a penalty during penalty shoot out during the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 Quarter Final match between Brazil and USA at Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion on July 10, 2011 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

If Costa Rica had any hope of qualifying for the Olympics this summer, it was extinguished in the second half of tonight's match against the USWNT. While Costa Rica played hard all match long, it wasn't enough, as the US scored two late goals to secure their fifth straight Olympic appearance.

The US Women's National Team now awaits the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London, where they will defend their 2008 gold medal from Beijing.

The Costa Ricans had opportunity to score during the first half of the match, with one shot just missing the net and bouncing off the bar. Even goalkeeper Hope Solo, who ended up starting the match despite nursing a quad pull, was challenged during the first half.

That was until Tobin Heath scored a marvelous header goal off of Lauren Cheney's corner kick. Despite a determined Costa Rican squad that wouldn't quit, it was all USA for the rest of the night with Carli Lloyd and young up-and-comer Alex Morgan scoring late second half goals to seal the USWNT's Olympic berth.

The USWNT will go on to play the winner of tonight's Mexico/Canada match in the tournament final Sunday night. With the final match not having any effect on qualifying, head coach Pia Sundhage will probably rest her top players, especially after losing Ali Krieger in the first game of the tournament.

8:00 p.m. is the scheduled start time for this Sunday's final match and will be available via the Universal Sports Network and concacaf.com.

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