Canada crowned, USA book play-off

USA last night earned themselves a FIFA Women’s World Cup reprieve, while Canada were crowned queens of CONCACAF following a 1-0 final win over Mexico.

The Americans, currently the top-ranked side in women’s football, bounced back from their shock semi-final defeat to the Mexicans with a 3-0 victory over Costa Rica in which Abby Wambach grabbed a double. Lauren Cheney was also on target as Pia Sundhage’s side secured third place and, with it, a play-off against Italy for a place at Germany 2011.

Canada’s heroine, meanwhile, was Christine Sinclair, with the towering striker scoring the decisive goal – her sixth of the tournament - in a tense final battle with the hosts. Sinclair struck from the penalty spot following a blatant hand-ball from Veronica Perez that left Mexico to play most of the second half with 10 players.

While the hosts had to settle for silver, Canada, whose only previous CONCACAF women’s title came in 1998, when the US did not participate, were left to celebrate arguably the greatest achievement of their history. Both teams can now look forward to next year's FIFA Women's World Cup, while we will need to wait to find out whether the Americans, two-time former winners, will be joining them.