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2016 Rio Olympics

USWNT rolls past Costa Rica in Rio qualifying opener

Alex Morgan scored 12 seconds into the match to lift the USWNT to a 5-0 win over Costa Rica in Olympic qualifying. (AP Photo)

Alex Morgan scored 12 seconds into the match to lift the USWNT to a 5-0 win over Costa Rica in Olympic qualifying. (AP Photo)

Alex Morgan scored early, Christen Press scored late and the United States women’s national team opened 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying with a 5-0 victory over Costa Rica on Wednesday in Frisco, Texas.

Morgan scored the quickest goal in CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying history and what is believed to be the fastest goal in U.S. team history when she found net 12 seconds into the match. Morgan said after the game that the kickoff is a designed play which the team has been practicing:

Carli Lloyd, who scored from the penalty spot in the first half, assisted both of Morgan’s goals. Lloyd had the flick-on header for the opening goal and the captain and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year chipped a cross into the path of Morgan in the second half for Morgan to head into the net.

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Christen Press would steal the show late after coming on as the United States’ final substitute. Press deftly controlled a cross with the outside of her right foot and her back to goal, spun and scored for a highlight-reel tally.

U.S. coach Jill Ellis switched to a 3-5-2 when Press came on, with the Americans already comfortably leading, 4-0. Crystal Dunn also scored for the Americans.

Mexico defeated Puerto Rico, 6-0 earlier in the night to open the tournament. The U.S. and Mexico meet on Saturday in Frisco.

The top two teams from each group advance to the semifinals, where the winner of each semifinal will advance to the 2016 Rio Olympics. The U.S. women are three-time defending Olympic gold-medalists and reigning World Cup champions.

Ellis called her team’s performance “the perfect start” to qualifying:

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