USA U20 Women close in on World Cup Quarter-Final spot
USA U20 Women close in on World Cup Quarter-Final spot avatar

USA needs a draw against a powerful German team in Japan next week to ensure a Quarter Final place in FIFA’s Under 20 Women’s Word Cup after being held 1-1 by a plucky China PR team in Hiroshima.

It was the second Group D game for the USA who beat Ghana 4-0 in their opener on Monday.  Defending champions Germany, who had earlier trounced China 4-0 became the first team to clinch a spot in the final eight with a 1-0 win over Ghana.

China took a surprise lead against the favored Americans in the 19th minute when Shen Lili beat goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin from 14 yards out.  Haeberlin was fortunate not to be penalized when the St. Petersburg native came flying off her line to clatter into a Chinese striker who had broken through the American defense.

Martha Hayes celebrates after scoring the equalizer against China (Getty Images)

USA struck back on the half-hour mark when Kealia Ohai powered into the Chinese box before pulling the ball back from the touchline for Maya Hayes to slot the ball into the near corner for her fourth of the tournament.  Hayes, from Montclair, New Jersey is on track to claim the tournament Golden Boot after netting three against Ghana.

USA dominated possession for much of the match but failed to conjure many opportunities. They did come close, though, to snatching  a win when captain Julie Johnston curled in a corner which bounced off the post.

Despite the draw USA are in a good position to go through. Only a loss to Germany and a Chinese win against Ghana combined with a five-goal differential swing will see them fail.  On the other hand, a win against Germany will see the Americans win the group and get the top-seeded draw in the play-off round.

Steve Swanson, the USA coach told reporters: “It was good football but for the last 20 minutes, China was well organized. This was a good lesson for the players. We created a lot of chances but the goals are missing. Germany is a great team, well organized with a good coach. We have respect for them. This will be another test for us but we expected that from the group which is really strong. There is no advantage for us that Germany is already in the next round”

Germany created numerous chances against Ghana in the other Group D game but struggled to get anything past Ghana’s in-form keeper, Patrica Mantey,  Ghana’s defense was finally broken in the dying seconds of the game when 18-year old substitute Lena Lotzen netted the winner.

In the Group C games played today Norway came from a goal down to upset Canada 2-1 and Korea DPR  set new ghoalscoring record for the event when the they hammered luckless Argentina 9-0.

The standings after the first two games:

Japan 2 1 1 0 6 3 4
New Zealand 2 1 1 0 4 3 4
Mexico 2 1 0 1 3 4 3
Switzerland 2 0 0 2 1 4 0


Nigeria 2 1 1 0 3 1 4
Korea Republic 2 1 0 1 2 2 3
Brazil 2 0 2 0 2 2 2
Italy 2 0 1 1 1 3 1
Korea DPR 2 2 0 0 13 2 6
Canada 2 1 0 1 7 2 3
Norway 2 1 0 1 4 5 3
Argentia 2 0 0 2 0 15 0
Germany 2 2 0 0 5 0 6
USA 2 1 1 0 5 1 4
China PR 2 0 1 1 1 5 1
Ghana 2 0 0 2 0 5 0




About Gavin Owen-Thomas

Gavin's a former journalist who worked in both newspapers and television media while also coaching at both youth and professional level. Born in Namibia, he grew up in South Africa before moving to England and then on to the United States, arriving in 1978. Gavin started playing as soon as he was old enough to kick a ball, and like every youngster he dreamed of playing, fame and glory. Oh, well.... But he does have a USSF A Coaching license, and took his UEFA A License in Wales. GotSoccer is a play on his initials. He launched the website in 1996, and for the first few years it was well-known for its soccer forum. In 2003 Gavin commissioned programmer Aaron Wilmoth to build a scheduling program based on a design he drew on the back of a restaurant napkin, and GotSoccer as we know it today was born.
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One Response to USA U20 Women close in on World Cup Quarter-Final spot
USA U20 Women close in on World Cup Quarter-Final spot avatar

  1. Hey Soccer athletes! My name is Sam, a nine year old girl who LOVES soccer. I respect all you do. I wish I could’ve seen the Gold medal game, but I had soccer practice! My dad and my brother Jon teaches me a lot about soccer. My brother Jon plays. My dad played soccer when he lived in England (he moved to the USA when he was about 17). He was the Team Captain of the soccer team in England. He never made it to be a pro., but he and my brother Jon are my Pros like you athletes are to me! I belong to a cup team, a travel team, and an indoor team in the winter! My teams are called Allegheny Force Football Club a shorter way to say it is AFFC (cup team), MASA Travel Team ( I used to belong to just MASA, and I made the tryout for the Travel Team, so I belong to MASA Travel Team now!), and where I do my indoor Winter soccer at is called PISA. Our team is called Elite Lady Panthers! I respect and love all my teammates, like you athletes do! My goal is to compete in the Olympics for Team USA, college, Minor League and then Major League! I am very proud of you for winning gold this year. Great work! You deserved it. You athletes worked it all the way up until the Gold Medal Game! I hope those of you who compete in Rio 2016 win gold again! Good Luck!

    Your #1 Fan,

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