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  • Isa Almeida

Revisiting the Exciting Moments: W Gold Cup Quarter-Finals Recap

After an eventful group stage, eight teams advanced to the quarter-finals of the inaugural edition of the Women’s Gold Cup. Here’s how it went:

Canada v. Costa Rica

Canada and Costa Rica had met just three days before in the final round of the group stage, where the reigning Olympic champions managed to score three past the Costa Rican defense. 

“In many ways, we learned something from each other,” said Canada Head Coach Bev Priestman. “Costa Rica for sure is gonna bring a better version of themselves.”

And they did. For 90 minutes, neither team found the back of the net.

“The amount of chances and shots that we had and it just felt like the ball couldn’t cross the line,” Priestman said. “In many ways, I think we needed this game to set us up for the next game, but it was frustrating. Ultimately we did whatever it takes to win.”

The game was taken to extra-time, and it wasn’t until the end of the first extra-time half that a Jessie Fleming assist enabled Evelyne Viens to score for Canada. The game ended 1-0.

“The tactical process was very similar to the other day,” said Costa Rica Head Coach Beni Rubido. “What happened is, since we had time and the experience from the other match, we were able to adjust some things. In the end, we always talk about how football always needs growth, and the match was an opportunity to grow.”

Canada had seven shots on target compared to a single one from their opponents. 

Brazil v. Argentina

Arguably the biggest rivalry in South America and one of the biggest in the world, Brazil and Argentina were almost destined to face each other at some point in the tournament. 

Brazil dominated the game. With 25 shots compared to Argentina’s six, and 13 shots on target against the Albiceleste’s three, Brazil put five goals in the back of Laurina Oliveros’ net to secure the victory. 

Vitória Yaya scored her first international goal to in the 19th minute to begin the large victory margin. Yasmin got the second still before halftime. Bia Zaneratto and Gabi Nunes kept it going for the Amarelinha in the second half.

"Without a doubt this was a game where we played better, but we want more," said Brazil Head Coach Arthur Elias. "We need to keep evolving and take advantage of every moment of the competition and every moment we're together."

Mexico v. Paraguay

Coming out of a 2-0 win against four-time World Champions United States, Mexico had to face Paraguay, coming out of a last-minute victory over El Salvador. 

Though the match finished with the same scoreline as the group stage fixture against the Salvadoreñas, Paraguay came out short in this knockout round. 

Goals by tournament star Lizbeth Ovalle and Karen Luna put Mexico ahead 2-0 in the first 50 minutes of the match, but Camila Barbosa Doerzbacher gave the Paraguayans a lifeline in the 64th minute by narrowing the scoreline to 2-1. Less than 10 minutes later, two more goals found the back of the net.

Ovalle widened the gap again in the 69th minute, and Rebeca Fernández scored again for Paraguay in the 71st. Unfortunately for the Paraguayans, Fernández’s goal was the last one, and that wasn’t enough to secure a spot in the semifinals. 

"This was a very important tournament for us, to the development of Paraguayan football" said Paraguay Head Coach Carlos Bona.

United States v. Colombia

The two teams came out of the group stage with two wins and a loss. 

The United States earned a penalty kick early in the game and captain Lindsey Horan converted it into a goal to get the lead. The Americans scored two more before halftime with Jenna Nighswonger getting her second international goal and 19-year-old Jaedyn Shaw getting her fifth. 

The second half went scoreless for both sides. 

Despite getting three shots on target, Colombia failed to get through Alyssa Naeher, who had crucial defenses throughout the game. 

A North American rivalry will take place in the semifinals as the U.S. takes on Canada on March 6 at 9:15 p.m. CST. Brazil will take on Mexico in the earlier fixture at 6 p.m. CST. The winner of each game will meet in San Diego on March 10 to decide the first Women’s Gold Cup winner.


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