U.S. must win home-and-home vs. Italy

Updated: November 8, 2010, 11:45 PM ET
Associated Press

CANCUN, Mexico -- After a stunning loss to Mexico that put the United States in danger of missing the Women's World Cup for the first time, the Americans got off to a successful start in their three-match quest to qualify for next year's tournament through a playoff.

Lauren Cheney scored in the 17th minute, Abby Wambach got goals in the 33rd and 50th, and the U.S. stayed alive with a 3-0 victory over Costa Rica on Monday night.

Next up is a home-and-home, total-goals playoff against ...

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