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Alex Morgan’s record-fast goal gets U.S. rolling in 5-0 victory over Costa Rica

U.S. forward Crystal Dunn (16) controls the ball as Costa Rica midfielder Wendy Acosta (20) defends during the first half of a CONCACAF Olympic qualifying match on Feb. 10.

U.S. forward Crystal Dunn (16) controls the ball as Costa Rica midfielder Wendy Acosta (20) defends during the first half of a CONCACAF Olympic qualifying match on Feb. 10.

(Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)

Alex Morgan scored 12 seconds into the game and in the 62nd minute, and the U.S. women’s team opened CONCACAF qualifying for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics with a 5-0 victory over Costa Rica on Wednesday night.

Morgan’s goal was the fastest in CONCACAF Olympic-qualifying history, and the team said it is believed to be the fastest in U.S. history.

It was the first competitive game for the U.S. since winning the World Cup. The U.S. has won three consecutive Olympic titles and four of the five.

Carli Lloyd and Crystal Dunn also scored first-half goals, and substitute Christen Press scored in the 83rd minute.

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In the other Group A opener at Toyota Stadium, Maribel Dominguez scored three goals in Mexico’s 6-0 victory over Puerto Rico.

Morgan’s first goal was a right-footed volley to the left of goalkeeper Dinnia Diaz from about 13 yards while being tightly marked on her left side. Lloyd assisted with a jumping header after collecting a long cross lofted in by Lindsey Horan from beyond midfield seconds after the opening kickoff.

Morgan’s second goal, her 59th in international competition, was a header just inside the six-yard box off a chipped cross from Lloyd.

Lloyd’s goal came on a penalty kick after Dunn was tripped just inside the 18-yard box. It was her 83rd goal and 20th in her last 15 games. She nearly scored again in the 59th minute on a point-blank header.

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Dunn scored her fifth career goal in the 15th minute, standing at the goal line as she followed her own saved shot.

Hope Solo made two saves during the first half on long free kicks.

The U.S., which will face Mexico on Saturday, has never lost a qualifying game and is 13-0 against Costa Rica.

Dominguez, known internationally as “Marigol,” opened the scoring against Puerto Rico in the 18th minute and scored twice in the second half. The 37-year-old Dominguez is Mexico’s leader in all-time qualifying goals with 14.

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The two top teams in Group A will join the two survivors from Group B, which is being played in Houston. The two semifinal winners in Houston on Feb. 19 will qualify for the Olympics.


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