USA vs Canada final score, result, analysis as Naeher leads USWNT to W Gold Cup semifinal penalty shootout win

It’s Alyssa Naeher’s world, and we’re all just living in it.

On the night of her 101st cap for the U.S. Women’s National Team, Naeher played the hero during penalties — minutes after a mistake nearly made her the villain — leading the USA to a 3-1 win in the shootout after the match ended 2-2 in extra time. With the win, the U.S. advances to the final of the CONCACAF W Gold Cup, where it will face Brazil on Sunday at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego.

Naeher made three saves in the shootout, stopping spot-kicks from Canada stars Adriana Leon, Jordyn Huitema, and captain Jessie Fleming. In the middle of that performance, Naeher stepped up and scored a goal herself, providing a young USWNT team with both veteran leadership and moxie. With the final save at 1:08 a.m. ET (10:08 p.m. local), it ended a wild night that arguably shouldn’t have happened in the first place. 

When the USA and Canada play, it’s often an instant classic.

USA vs Canada final score

FT after extra time (Penalties) Goal scorers
USA 2 (3) Shaw (21′), Smith (99′)
Canada 2 (1) Huitema (82′), Leon (120′)

Lineups:

USA (4-3-3, right to left): Naeher (GK) — Fox, Girma, Davidson, Nighswonger — Albert, Coffey, Horan (Captain) — Rodman, Morgan, Shaw.

USA bench: Dahlkemper, Sauerbrunn, Williams, Purce, Smith, Moultrie, Sonnett, Lavelle, Murphy (GK), Dunn,  Krueger, Campbell (GK)

Canada (3-4-3, right to left): Sheridan (GK) — Awujo, Gilles, Buchanan — Lawrence, J. Rose, Fleming (Captain), Carle — Leon, D. Rose, Lacasse

Canada bench: Alidou, D’Angelo, Grosso, Huitema, Larisey, Proulx, Quinn, Smith, St-Georges, Viens, Zadorsy

USA vs Canada analysis

Terrible field conditions

From the start, both teams had to throw their game plans out the window as dribbling on the field was impossible for most of the match. There was standing water all over the field, and the referee even came over to the match officials on the sideline to show them how the ball wasn’t rolling and to ask whether they should postpone the game, but they were apparently told to keep playing.

However, many chimed in on social media to note that playing on that surface was very dangerous and could have led to some serious injuries

The field conditions led to a mistake in which the USA capitalized, with Jaedyn Shaw racing in to a ball that stopped rolling in the box and chipping the goalkeeper.

Naeher’s night

Naeher must have been feeling the full spectrum of emotions late in the match. A collision in the box in stoppage time of the second half of extra time led to a VAR review and eventually a penalty kick awarded to Canada. Naeher was judged to have fouled Vanessa Gilles as Canada was throwing everyone forward for one final chance. It worked out for them in that moment as Leon sent Naeher the wrong way in the last kick of extra time to send the game to penalties. 

However, Naeher amazingly was able to brush that disappointment off and she dominated the shootout.

USA subs made huge impact

The USWNT’s depth was on display on Wednesday night as they were able to bring the likes of Sophia Smith (former NWSL MVP winner) and Rose Lavelle (scored in a World Cup final) off the bench. And those two combined for the USA’s second goal, with Lavelle surprising the Canadian defenders marking her with a terrific headed pass over her shoulder to Smith, who made quick work of her chance.

Smith then exorcised some demons with a terrific penalty in the shootout. Smith missed from 12 yards to send the U.S. home early from the 2023 Women’s World Cup — a disappointment she said post-game that still haunts her.  

MORE: CONCACAF W Gold Cup 2024, fixtures and schedule

USA vs Canada live updates, highlights, and commentary

After penalty kicks: What an incredible performance by Naeher in the shootout, completely redeeming herself after her foul on Gilles gave Canada an opening and sent the game to penalty kicks. Naeher finishes with three massive saves and a goal scored herself. The U.S. took care of business, converting three of their four kicks, and the USA advances. What an insane ending. An instant classic!

Penalty kicks

Fourth Round

USA: Lindsey Horan…Scores! Sends Sheridan the wrong way as she scores into the bottom left corner. 

Canada: Jessie Fleming…SAVED BY NAEHER! That’s the game. Naeher with three saves in the shootout and the USA advances to the W Gold Cup final!

Third Round

USA: Alyssa Naeher…Scores! Perfect spot kick by Naeher into the bottom right corner. Sheridan had no chance. 

Canada: Quinn…Scores! They send Naeher the wrong way. 

Second Round

USA: Korbin Albert…MISSED! She shoots it over the crossbar. 

Canada: Jordyn Huitema…SAVED! Naeher does it again!

First Round: 

USA: Sophia Smith…Scores! Into the bottom left corner. 

Canada: Adriana Leon…SAVED BY NAEHER!

Full time in extra time: The referee blows her whistle and we’re going to penalty kicks! The script writers for this game really got their money’s worth of twists and turns inserted into this story. 

Leon barely touched the ball all game, but when it mattered, she stepped up and scored a massive goal for her nation. 

Canada meanwhile subs on Shaline Zadorsky for Gilles for the penalty kick shootout. 

120th min: Adriana Leon steps up with the ball to the spot….GOAL CANADA! She sents Naeher the wrong way and Leon ties the match with the literal last kick of extra time. What drama!

120th min: The referee has decided to go over to the monitor. Let’s see what her decision is…Penalty kick to Canada! WOW! Naeher is given a yellow card as well for her foul on Gilles. 

120th min: SO CLOSE! Gilles launches into the air and heads a ball that goes just wide. In the process, she’s taken out by Naeher and could be subjected to a VAR revew. 

120th min: Canada throwing everything at the U.S. defense. Hasn’t worked yet. One minute to go. 

118th min: We have arrived at Route 1 football.

115th min: U.S. possesses the ball in midfield and gives their defenders a break. They’ve been taking a lot of packages recently. 

111th min: Canada expectedly is throwing everything forward. Huitema sends a header down to Leon, but Leon slices the shot and it goes out of play. 

109th min: Larisey makes a great run forward down the right and cuts inside. She finds Huitema in the box but a heavy touch ruins the move. 

107th min: Sonnett had a chance for a cross into the box but instead she kills a few more seconds of the match by taking the ball into the corner. 

Second half of extra time kickoff: We are underway! Canada adds Clarissa Larisey for their final substitution of the night. 

Half time of extra time: How much does each team have left in the tank after this wild game. By the way, the pitch conditions have improved quite a bit. The ball is still getting stuck in some spots, but it’s moving around much more like normal throughout most of the field. 

104th min: Williams takes the ball to the corner to waste some time. 15 minutes plus injury time away from the W Gold Cup final for the Americans. 

102nd min: Close! Smith earns the USA a corner kick and Lavelle curls one in that Horan attacks but puts it a foot wide. Getting closer. 

100th min: It was two substitutes combining for the USWNT to lead to the goal. Lavelle to Smith. 

99th min: GOOOOAAAAL USA! Sophia Smith with a terrific calm finish in front of goal but a terrific header assist by Rose Lavelle to take out two Canadian defenders and give Smith a great chance on goal. U.S. takes a 2-1 lead. 

96th min: Huitema walks off the field under her own power, but is holding her right shoulder area. 

93rd min: Davidson makes a terrific defensive play to cover Girma after Huitema gets free in the box. Canada with plenty of confidence and momentum since their goal. 

Extra time kickoff: We are back underway. Both teams have switched sides again. Also, Olivia Smith is on for Canada.

End of regulation: The match ends tied at 1-1 and we’ll go to extra time!

90+4th min: Viens gets beyond the USA backline and forces Naeher way out of her area to grab it. 

90th min: Leon fights for the ball and ends up clattering Fox, leading to a yellow card. 

89th min: Albert takes a long-range strike that’s deflected out for a corner kick. Lavelle to take….so close! Horan gave the whipped in free kick a courtesy back-heel, which pops up and can’t be headed home. 

84th min: Let’s see how the USA responds. Canada needed extra time in their quarterfinal match, so they could be showing tired legs here soon. Emily Sonnett is into the match for Coffey. 

82nd min: GOAL CANADA! Adriana Leon with some terrific hold up play at the top of the box waiting for her teammates to arrive and she finds Lawrence on the right. Lawrence plays a cross into the box and Huitema rises and powers it back across goal into the net. The game is tied, 1-1. 

78th min: Forgot to mention it earlier, but Shaw’s goal was Canada’s first goal allowed all tournament. And throughout the rest of the game, you can see why. They’ve been strong and resolute. 

75th min: I’m pretty sure Carle just threw the ball in off Quinn’s back and collected it. I feel like I’ve only seen that in basketball. 

72nd min: Rose Lavelle comes in for Alex Morgan. Huge applause from the crowd for Lavelle, or for Morgan’s performance. Both deserved, either way. 

70th min: Fleming is chopped down and she wins a free kick in a great position for Canada. She and Leon stand over the ball and it ends up being Leon, but the cross into the box misses all her teammates. A huge missed opportunity. 

68th min: Canada is really upping the pressure and leads to a great cross from Fleming that forces Naeher off her line, but she collects and doesn’t give up a rebound. Two changes for Canada. Evelyne Viens and Quinn come on for D. Rose and Lacasse. 

64th min: Rodman races ahead of the Canada backline but her cross is too close to Sheridan. Sophia Smith now coming in for the former NWSL Rookie of the Year. 

60th min: Sheridan is down in the box and Canada’s coaching staff calls the entire team over for a discussion on the sidelines. They’ve been pinned back by the U.S. for most of this half. 

57th min: Canada can wait no longer. On comes the young star Jordan Huitema in place of Awuja. 

51st min: CHANCE FOR HORAN! Oh wow, Williams outworks the Canadian defense thanks to a ball getting stuck in the field and finds space out wide to the right. She loops a cross into the middle and Horan rises but puts it wide of goal. 

49th min: A poor touch at the edge of the box by Davidson nearly leads to a chance by Flemin but she tumbles overboard. Referee waves it off but it looks like Davidson got Fleming’s foot inside the box. 

Second half kickoff: We’re back underway!

Half time: Okay, looks like we will return to action soon, as both teams got a little warm-up in on the sidelines. Two subs coming in for the U.S., Lynn Williams and Casey Krueger. They’re coming in for goalscorer Jaedyn Shaw and Jenna Nighswonger. 

Half time: Both teams are called off the field by their respective coaches after the match officials had a conversation with the coaches. More rain has started falling in San Diego.  

Half time: TV broadcast says that match officials and referees have discussed during half time whether to continue the game. Both teams are on the field, but the referee is talking with both coaches. 

Half time: Players and coaches have chimed in during the first half, stating that this is a player safety issue to keep playing on this water-logged pitch. Former USWNT midfielder Sam Mewis and San Diego Wave coach Casey Stoney have both posted on X tonight about it. 

Half time: Another impressive stat about Shaw. It’s easy to forget she’s still only 19-years old. 

Half time: USA 1, Canada 0. It wasn’t always pretty, but Jaedyn Shaw’s first half chip gives the U.S. a huge lead. The USWNT are now 45 minutes away from the W Gold Cup final. Let’s see how the match officials deal with the field at the break. 

44th min: By the way, Fox and Girma have completely shut out Adriana Leon, the leading goalscorer coming into tonight in this tournament. Leon has barely had a touch on the ball, or any shots on goal. 

43rd min: Canada gets a nice chance going forward as D. Rose finds a path into the box but her shot on goal is blocked by Davidson’s body and is eventually cleared – again in part due to the field conditions. 

40th min: Horan with a header off the second corner for the U.S. in that sequence but it’s well saved by Sheridan. Girma a minute later plays a terrific cross-field pass to Rodman, but J. Rose battles Rodman off the ball without the referee blowing the whistle. Rodman was incensed. 

38th min: Rodman picks up the ball on the left wing, where the field is a bit dryer, and spins, turns around her defender and drives towards the end line, eventually earning the U.S. a corner kick. 

33rd min: Another chance for the U.S. as Horan gets free running into the box, but again the ball gets caught in the water and she helplessly runs past it. Impossible to run with the ball at pace tonight. 

32nd min: No nonsense defending from the U.S. as Canada looked to bring it forward, as Girma and Nighswonger just kick it out of bounds instead of risk a back pass or even passing on the ground in midfield. 

30th min: The strategy for both teams seems to be so far – hoof it down field, let the opponent put it out for a throw-in, and start from there. This is a real shame for a game of this magnitude to be played in these conditions. 

24th min: Canada win a corner kick, long ball to the far post is headed down by Buchanan but it is cleared away by the U.S. defense. The broadcast just replayed the goal, and it all started by a terrific long ball to the opposing box by Lindsey Horan. Shaw chased after it and eventually got her reward.  

21st min: GOOOOAL USA!! Jaedyn Shaw with a beautiful dink over Sheridan off a mistake by Gilles. Gilles tried a back pass to Sheridan but the ball just stopped halfway there. Shaw was alert and chips one home to give the U.S. a confidence-boosting 1-0 lead. 

20th min: Canada has pinned the U.S. back, and the U.S. defenders aren’t quite sure the best way to clear the ball other than to hoof it down field, since they can’t dribble their way out of trouble safely. 

16th min: Lacasse with some good work down the right for Canada, Beats Davidson to cross into the middle and it falls to D. Rose, but it’s cleared away by the U.S. Then, Naeher is forced to come way out of her box to clear away a long ball by Canada. It feels like Canada is handling the tough conditions better so far. 

13th min: Another long ball forward for the U.S. sees Morgan run past Buchanan onto the pass but the ball again gets stuck in the water and Morgan’s touch ends up being picked up by Sheridan. 

11th min: Both teams have been struggling to build possession, Canada has had a couple of crosses into the box but they’ve been well defender by Girma. At the other end, Rodman has a breakaway but the ball gets stuck in the water and the chance goes past her. 

6th min: Fleming gets a shot on goal for Canada but it’s easily collected by Naeher. This came a minute after the referee took a ball over to the match officials on the sidelines to ask if they wanted the game to continue, showing how the ball isn’t rolling like normal because of all the standing water. But the game is continuing the time being. 

3rd min: The field is a mess due to the excess rain, but it almost leads to a chance for 19-year-old American winger Jaedyn Shaw. The ball gets stuck by her feet and she fires a 40-yard shot that goes wide of goal. 

Kickoff: We’re underway from Snapdragon Stadium. There is standing water on the field, we’ll see how that affects how both teams want to play. 

5 mins to kickoff: National anthem time. In the rain!

20 mins until kickoff: Unlike Los Angeles, San Diego does actually get some rain during the year, and they’re getting some tonight. Expect the ball to be zipping around the field. 

30 mins until kickoff: Regarding the USWNT lineup, it’s the first time all tournament that Kilgore has played the same lineup in back to back games. There was an argument to bring in the likes of Sophia Smith or Abby Dahlkemper, but Kilgore and her staff clearly felt like this younger squad played well for them on Sunday, and want to run it back with the same group. 

45 mins until kickoff: In the other semifinal, Brazil booked a place in the W Gold Cup final with a 3-0 win over Mexico. Check out the highlights when you can, including an audacious goal by Yasmim with a backheel. 

1 hour until kickoff:

We have lineups!

Our XI to start tonight’s Semifinal in San Diego 🇺🇸

Full Lineup Notes » https://t.co/xmColIyqJE pic.twitter.com/NUahs9mkEB

— U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (@USWNT) March 7, 2024

Our starters as we take on the United States!#CANWNT #WGoldCup pic.twitter.com/DYOaPUFAyT

— CANWNT (@CANWNT) March 7, 2024

1 hour, 15 mins before kickoff: Looks like the U.S. will be in their white kits tonight. 

◽️◻️⬜️ fresh threads in SD ⬜️◻️◽️ pic.twitter.com/fkEYqxkh0v

— U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (@USWNT) March 7, 2024

1 hour, 30 mins before kickoff: One of the many bright spots for the USWNT 3-0 win over Colombia was the play of defender Tierna Davidson. Davidson suffered a torn ACL early in the 2022 season and missed the rest of the year and some of 2023. Against Colombia, Davidson was confident, aggressive, and played some neat passes out of pressure to help the U.S. move up the field. Later in the game, Davidson kept her nerve and didn’t dive into tackles to help Linda Caicedo win dangerous free kicks.

Davidson in the press conference spoke about how after the injury she had to find her new normal, and it seems like she has, especially partnered in the back with her former Stanford teammate, Naomi Girma. 

2 hours before kickoff: U.S. Women’s National Team interim head coach Twila Kilgore discussed in the matchday -1 press conference that the U.S. wants to be successful in both open play, in transition, on set pieces, and in capturing the ball back in the opponent’s first third to set up a quick counter. The U.S. scored via set piece, open play, and transition against Colombia, a sign of the versatility of this squad.

USA vs Canada live stream, TV channel

In the United States, you can stream the match in English on Paramount+ or Fubo. The match can also be streamed in Spanish on ESPN+ or seen on television on ESPN Deportes. 

In Canada, fans can watch the match streaming in English on Fubo Canada and OneSoccer. 

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