Sports in Brief: U.S. women win, qualify for London

Posted: January 28, 2012

Playing in Vancouver, British Columbia, the U.S. women's soccer team qualified for the London Olympics on Friday night with a 3-0 victory over Costa Rica.

Tobin Heath scored in the first half, Delran's Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan added goals in the second and the Americans won the CONCACAF qualifying tournament semifinal to earn one of two berths from the region.

The Americans are the two-time defending Olympic champions, having taken the gold in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008. They also will be looking to rebound from last year's World Cup disappointment, when they lost to Japan in the championship game in Germany.

The victory also puts the Americans into the tournament final Sunday, a bragging-rights-only game against the winner of Friday's late game between Mexico and Canada.

The U.S. has outscored its opponents 34-0 at the qualifying tournament.

Union forward Danny Mwanga has embarked for a 10-day training stint with the English Premier League side Aston Villa. He will join his teammates on Feb. 6, in time for the start of the Union's second leg of preseason.

SKIING: American Lindsey Vonn won a World Cup super-combined event in St. Moritz, Switzerland, Friday to extend her lead in the overall standings against second-place Tina Maze of Slovenia.

Vonn defended her lead from the morning downhill with a solid slalom leg to clock a combined two-run time of 2 minutes, 28.35 seconds. Maze was 0.41 seconds back, and third-place Nicole Hosp of Austria trailed Vonn by 0.58 seconds.

Vonn earned 100 World Cup points for the victory and leads Maze by 302. The 48th career World Cup win began her defense of the season-long super-combined title. Vonn won the super-combined title the last two years. She has seven victories this season in her quest to regain the overall crown.

  FIGURE SKATING: Italy's Carolina Kostner halted the Russian march at the European figure- skating championships by grabbing a narrow lead in the women's competition in her bid to capture a fourth continental gold.

Looking to regain the title she surrendered to the now-retired Sarah Meier last year, the 24-year-old Kostner scored 63.22 points for her short program. Kostner, who hasn't finished out of the top two at the Europeans since 2007, leads second-place Kiira Korpi of Finland (61.80) heading into Saturday's free skate at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, England.

At the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, Calif., Meryl Davis and Charlie White sambaed their way into the lead. The first Americans to win a world title in ice dance, Davis and White scored 76.89 for the short dance, more than four points more than Maia and Alex Shibutani, last year's runners-up and the surprise bronze medalists at worlds.

CYCLING: The International Cycling Union has awarded hosting rights for track cycling's world championships to the Belarusian capital, Minsk, in 2013, and Cali, Colombia, in 2014. The UCI has canceled the inaugural World Cycling Forum that was planned for this year, but no host city had been chosen.

- Staff and wire reports