The U.S. U20 WNT will head to the 2016 World Cup in Papua New Guinea next November as Champions of CONCACAF following Sunday’s 1-0 win over Canada in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
The victory marks the fifth time that the U.S. has captured the CONCACAF U20 title and the Americans will be seeking a fourth world championship at this grade when 16 national teams gather in Papua New Guinea to crown a champion.
Canada qualified for this final without having conceded a goal, so it was no surprise that the U.S. found their rivals far more difficult to break down than previous opponents Honduras, Haiti, and Panama.
Knowing Canada’s defensive prowess U.S. coach Michelle French sent her team out in attack minded 4-3-3 formation, with Ashley Sanchez joining Mallory Pugh and Jessie Scarpa to form a potentially deadly front three.
Curiously French’s opposite number Daniel Worthington chose to rest his number one keeper in favor of Lysianne Proulx, a decision that would cost Canada.
The Americans were arguably the better team, starting in the goal with Rose Chandler, who came up big when needed. Meanwhile, Proulx looked shaky for the Canadians, who had to be happy to get to the half all even at zeroes.
Canada’s attack got a spark from half time sub-Alex Lamontagne as its well-organized defense continued to frustrate the American attack.
In the end, all that would separate the sides was a mistake by Proulx that was punished some cool finishing by Sanchez. When Proulx badly underhit a clearance, Sanchez was all over the miscue, calmly taking her chance in the 72nd minute.
Twice Chandler had been put in bad situations by defensive errors, but the U.S. keeper bailed out her teammates each time on her way to winning the Golden Glove as the tournament’s best keeper.
U.S. captain Mallory Pugh was awarded Golden Boot and Golden Ball as the Best Player and High Scorer for the leading the U.S. to victory. Canada won’t be too disappointed with tonight’s loss, the runners up also qualified for the U20 World Cup.
Mexico made it a clean sweep of the CONCACAF Championships by the North American representatives, beating Honduras 2-0 in Sunday’ Thir Place Game to join the United States and Canada on the victory podium, and in Papua New Guinea next November.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
CAN 0 0 0
USA – Ashley Sanchez 72nd minute
USA: 1-Rosemary Chandler; 14-Taylor Otto, 2-Natalie Jacobs, 16-Emily Fox, 5-Tierna Davidson; 3-Mikaela Harvey, 17-Parker Roberts, 6-Savannah DeMelo (8-Ella Stevens, 92), 13-Ashley Sanchez (7-Marley Canales, 83); 15-Jessie Scarpa (11-Kelcie Hedge, 59), 10-Mallory Pugh (capt.)
Subs not used: 4-Sabrina Flores, 9-Jordan Harr, 12-Kiara Pickett, 17-Parker Roberts, 18-Brooke Heinsohn, 19-Shannon Horgan, 20-Zoe Redei
Head coach: Michelle French
CAN: 18-Lysianne Proulx; 15-Bianca St Georges, 20-Mika Richards, 2-Sura Yekka, 8-Emma Regan (13-Marike Saint-Pierre-Mousset, 76); 3-Ashley Moreira, 9-Sarah Stratigakis, 10-Sarah Kinzner (19-Alex Lamontagne, 46); 17-Shana Flynn (12-Victoria Pickett, 59), 6-Anyssa Ibrahim, 7-Taylor Pryce
Subs not used: 1-Rylee Foster, 16-Alexis Martel-Lamothe, 5-Sarah Feola, 4-Martina Loncar, 11-Vital Kats, 14-Camilla Shymka
Head coach: Daniel Worthington
Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 9 / 4
Shots on Goal: 4 / 2
Saves: 2 / 3
Corner Kicks: 5 / 2
Fouls: 8 / 9
Offside: 2 / 0
USA-Savannah DeMelo (caution) 57th minute
Referee: Gillian Martindale (BRB)