U.S. women shut out Costa Rica

Updated: November 4, 2010, 9:46 AM ET
Associated Press

CANCUN, Mexico -- Abby Wambach scored for the third straight game and the United States beat Costa Rica 4-0 Monday night to win its first-round group in qualifying for next year's Women's World Cup.

Wambach scored her tournament-leading sixth goal when she converted a penalty kick in the 32nd minute. Lauren Cheney added a goal in the 68th, and the Americans also got goals from Yael Averbuch in the 73rd and Alex Morgan in the 81st.

The U.S. (3-0) outscored opponents 18-0 in the first round and meets Canada or Mexico in the semifinals for a berth in next year's Women's World Cup in Germany.

Costa Rica (2-1) finished second in Group B and also advanced to the semifinals. It will play the Group A winner -- Canada needs only a tie against Mexico on Tuesday to finish first.

The two CONCACAF finalists earn direct entry into the World Cup, while the winner of the third-place match moves on to play the fifth-place team from European qualifying for a berth in the tournament.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press