MACOYA, Trinidad (July 24, 2008) – Defender Crystal Dunn scored her first-ever goal for the U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team in the second minute of stoppage time on Thursday night to earn a 1-0 win against Mexico and book a spot at the 2008 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup. The win also secures a place at the 2008 CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship Final at 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 27, where the U.S. will face Costa Rica at Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya, Trinidad.
Costa Rica advanced to the Final by stunning heavily favored Canada with a 2-0 win. Costa Rica will join the United States in New Zealand as two of the three teams to qualify from CONCACAF. Canada and Mexico will have another chance to qualify on Sunday, when they face off for third place at 4 p.m. ET at Marvin Lee Stadium. The third place winner will be the final team from CONCACAF to secure a berth at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
It was a tough game for the young U.S. side, as Mexico did well to cut off the U.S. services to the flanks, which is where most of the team’s previous goals had come from. The U.S. hit the crossbar three times in the effort, before Dunn slotted home the game-winning goal off a corner kick in stoppage time.
“We knew that they were going to be great,” said U.S. U-17 WNT head coach Kazbek Tambi, of the Mexican team. “Mexico has a great soccer tradition. Their girls play similar to their men in terms of having a very possession oriented and technical game. We knew that. The key for us was to play our game and get the better of them.
Kristen Mewis took the corner herself the second time, sending it to her sister, Samantha, right in the middle of the box. Samantha Mewis was being marked hard by a defender but managed to touch the ball slightly to her left. Dunn had run up from her place on the backline and was there just in time to slam it past Santiago and into the goal in the 92nd minute. It was Dunn’s first-ever goal for the U.S. U-17 WNT which sent them to the first-ever FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup.
“I’m thrilled that our kids kept attacking and we weren’t looking for overtime. In fact, on the goal that we scored, Crystal Dunn, is a defender who is not typically involved in our corner kick situations. We had her go in the box, too, just to throw an extra player in there. She ended up scoring the goal.” (More quotes)
The USA’s first real chance came from forward Courtney Verloo in the 15th minute. A Mexican goal kick went right to Erika Tymrak in the center of the field and Tymrak slipped through two defenders before touching it back to Verloo. Verloo got rid of her defender before sending her shot just wide of the left post.
Mexico put the U.S. under pressure in the 20th minute, when Charlyn Corral did well to shake off Dunn and get a look at the goal from 25 yards out on the right side of the field. Corral’s blast hit the crossbar and the U.S. defense wasted no time in clearing it out of danger.
Verloo had another look at the goal around the 34th minute when Samantha Mewis collected the ball and split two defenders to send Verloo behind Mexico’s backline. Verloo wasn’t expecting goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago to be so close, turning and shooting right into Santiago’s stomach as she came out to smother the attempt. The ball trickled out from under them as they collided, rolling weakly towards the goal before Mexican captain Marylin Diaz cleared it out for a corner kick just before it crossed the goal line.
The U.S. kicked off the second half with their own shot to the crossbar as Tymrak smacked it in the 47th minute. Verloo had the ball on the left side of the field, facing Diaz and cutting it to her right foot, sending a cross to Tyrmak on in the middle of the 18-yard box. Tymrak hit the ball on the volley, but it was inches too high as it clanged off the crossbar and was cleared out of danger.
Verloo had two more looks on goal, both in the 52nd minute, when Kristen Mewis sent a ball into the area. Verloo hit a header from the top of the six that pinged off the crossbar and back into the box. She was there to collect her own rebound, hitting it one-time towards the right side of the goal but Santiago was able to react and get a hand on it to make the save.
It looked like Verloo scored in the 55th minute when Kristen Mewis chased the ball down the left flank and sent in a cross. Verloo slammed the ball into the back of the net as the assistant referee lifted up her flag, nullifying the tally.
Mexico appeared to have worn down the U.S. defense in the 84th minute, when a quick touch from Corral sent Stephany Mayor behind the back line and racing towards the goal. But the ball was too quick for Mayor and U.S. goalkeeper Alexa Gaul did well to come off her line, making the kick save from just outside the 18-yard box.
The match seemed destined to go into overtime when Kristen Mewis earned a corner kick in the 90th minute. Second-half substitute Rachel Nuzzolese took the quick corner to Kristen Mewis, who took a shot from the left side of the box that was deflected out for another corner.
-- U.S. UNDER-17 WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT --
Match-up: USA vs. Mexico
Competition: 2008 CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship
Venue: Marvin Lee Stadium; Macoya, Trinidad
Date: July 24, 2008; Kickoff – 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 85 degrees, Showers
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
MEX 0 0 0
USA – Crystal Dunn (Samantha Mewis) 92+nd minute.
USA: 1-Alexa Gaul; 2-Crystal Dunn, 3-Cloee Colohan, 16-Julia Roberts-capt., 20-Amber Brooks; 13-Kristen Mewis, 9-Samantha Mewis, 8-Erika Tymrak, 6-Samantha Johnson (23-Rachel Nuzzolese, 64); 15-Victoria DiMartino, 21-Courtney Verloo (14-Olivia Klei, 79)
Subs not used: 18-Taylor Vancil, 4-Alexis Harris, 12-Morgan Brian, 7-Kathryn Bennett, 10-Tani Costa
Head Coach: Kazbek Tambi
MEX: 1- Cecilia Santiago; 13-Monica Alvarado, 5-Viridiana Cardenas, 3- Marylin Diaz-capt., 8-Marciela Padilla; 10-Alina Garciamendez, 11- Stephany Mayor; 15-Yamile Franco, 17-Amanda Ortegon (14-Alma Aponte, 68); 9- Charlyn Corral, 7- Nayeli Rangel
Subs not used: 20-Nicole Cipriano, 4-Kenia Sanchez; 16-Mirelle Arciniega, 6-Diana Gonzalez, 18-Anisa Guajardo, 19-Antizel Perez
Head Coach: Leonardo Cuellar
Statistical Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 15 / 8
Shots on Goal: 6 / 3
Saves: 2 / 3
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 9 / 7
Offside: 6 / 1
Referee: Carol-Anne Chenard (CAN)
Asst. Referee: Cindy Mohammed (TRI)
Asst. Referee: Lynda Bramble ((TRI)
4th Official: Sabine Charles (LCA)
Sierra Mist Woman of the Match: Crystal Dunn
Group A Results / Schedule
Costa Rica 0, USA 6
T & T 5, El Salvador 1
USA 9, El Salvador 0
T & T 0, Costa Rica 0
El Salvador 1, Costa Rica 8
T & T 1, USA 9
Group A Standings
Team GP W L T GF GA GD PTS
USA 3 3 0 0 24 1 +23 9
CRC 3 1 1 1 8 7 +1 4
TRI 3 1 1 1 6 10 -4 4
SLV 3 0 3 0 2 22 -20 0
Group B Results / Schedule
Puerto Rico 0, Canada 3
Mexico 6, Jamaica 0
Mexico 4, Puerto Rico 0
Canada 4, Jamaica 3
Jamaica 1, Puerto Rico 2
Canada 4, Mexico 1
Group B Standings
Team GP W L T GF GA GD PTS
CAN 3 3 0 0 11 4 +7 9
MEX 3 2 0 0 11 4 +7 6
PUR 3 1 2 0 2 8 -6 3
JAM 3 0 3 0 4 12 -8 0
Semifinals* – Marvin Lee Stadium
Canada 2, Costa Rica 0
USA 1, Mexico 0
Finals – Marvin Lee Stadium
Date Matchup Time (ET)
July 27 Canada vs. Mexico 4 p.m.
USA vs. Costa Rica 6:30 p.m.