CHESTER, Pa. — Abby Wambach has been concerned recently about overthinking headers.
She seemed to have it all worked out Sunday night when she scored four goals — three with her head — in a 6-0 victory over Costa Rica that gave the World Cup-bound U.S. national team their fifth CONCACAF Women’s Championship title.
“Thankfully, today my teammates put me in positions where I really couldn’t think,” Wambach said afterward. “I was set up to be successful.”
The U.S. women already had secured a trip to next year’s World Cup in Canada with a victory over Mexico in the semifinals of the eight-team, four-city tournament.
Wambach scored on a header in the fourth minute and fed Carli Lloyd one in the 17th to put the United States up 2-0.
Wambach scored with her head again off a cross from Lloyd in the 35th minute and added another header in the 41st, also with the assist from Lloyd.
Wambach added her fourth, this time a chip, in the 71st minute. It was her second career four-goal game; she scored five goals in a game against Ireland 10 years ago.
“I think her focus is crazy good. She’s really locked down and working on every facet of her game,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said, adding with a smile: “We did some extra heading with her because she thought her timing was slightly off. I think she did all right tonight.”
Wambach now has 18 goals in World Cup qualifying, breaking Michelle Akers’ team record (17). Wambach already has the career record for goals with 177, and she leads the team with 14 goals this year.
It was the first time a single player has scored four goals in a CONCACAF women’s championship title game.
Photo by Rich Schultz/Associated Press
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