- USA Goalkeeper Jane Campbell Makes 12 Saves
- Team Tied for Second in Group B Behind Korea DPR
- USA Moves to Capital City of Baku for Next Group B Match Against Gambia on Sept. 25 at Dalga Arena (8 a.m. ET on ESPN3)
LANKARAN, Azerbaijan (Sept. 22, 2012) – The United States opened the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup with a scoreless draw against France in the Group B opener for both teams at Lankaran Stadium.
U.S. goalkeeper Jane Campbell had 12 saves as the defense battled for 90 minutes and withstood a dynamic France attack. The USA now shares second place in the group behind Korea DPR, which took the early Group B lead by crushing Gambia 11-0 earlier in the day.
The U.S. next faces Gambia at 8 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at Dalga Arena in Baku. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN3. Fans can also follow the match on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.
“Going into the first game and getting a point is not so bad playing against a very good side in France,” said U.S. head coach Albertin Montoya. “Coming into this tournament, France and Japan were two of the best sides I’ve seen. We didn’t play as well as we would have liked, but that said, we got a point not playing well so you can only imagine that things can only get better for us if we play our game, possess it a bit better and start combining better up top.”
A boisterous crowd of more than 8,000 fans saw the USA start the game a bit jittery in what was the first-ever World Cup match for these young players. The French controlled the possession for most of the first 20 minutes and the USA was forced into to make an early defensive substitution when center back Mandy Freeman took a blow to the face in the 11th minute and had to be replaced by Lizzy Raben just 13 minutes into the game. Raben stepped up huge for the U.S. team, helping back-stop an American defense that bent but didn’t break and got a fantastic performance from Campbell.
The French were a strong and skillful side that played well through the midfield and also got the ball to the flanks in dangerous positions quite a bit. Still, the USA held the French to mostly tame long distance attempts until the 41st minute when French forward Kadidiatou Diani had two scoring opportunities. Her first attempt, a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area, was blocked by Raben and the rebound came back to Diani, whose right-footed shot went high and wide right of the frame.
Midfielder Toni Payne had the only shot on goal for the U.S. in the first half and it came in stoppage time. Forward Summer Green guided a perfect pass behind France’s defense and Payne ran onto the service to get a good look at goal, but her shot was batted away by French goalkeeper Romaine Bruneau who rushed outside of the goal box to challenge.
Off the ensuring corner kick, the French had to scramble a dangerous service away as the halftime whistle blew.
Campbell came up with big saves throughout the second half. She turned away three separate shots from Diani, including two diving stops to her right in the 67th and 73rd minutes. Right before that flurry -- which was perhaps France’s best attacking period of the game as many of the shots were directly at the U.S. ‘keeper -- Campbell also saved a Lea Declercq 25-yard free kick with a flying save on a drive that was headed into the upper left corner.
Green, the USA’s leading scorer, was quite busy running at the French back line, but the defense maintained a high line as she was called offside four times. The fourth infraction in the 86th minute resulted in a yellow card when she kicked the ball into the net well after the whistle had been blown.
The USA forwards did some hard running during the match, with wingers Midge Purce and Darian Jenkins both creating some dangerous down the flanks, but the Americans couldn’t find a great attacking rhythm in the final third and would create just the one shot on goal and three total in the match.
Still, the USA almost stole the game in the 88th minute when Jenkins collected a ball near the left corner of the penalty box with her back to the goal. She spun around a defender and shot low to the left corner, but the ball skidded inches wide of the post.
- Saturday’s match was the first for the USA in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup since the World Cup Final in 2008 in New Zealand.
- The 13th-minute substitution of Lizzy Raben for Mandy Freeman is the earliest in U-17 World Cup history. The previous record was the 19th minute when Brazil’s Juliana replaced Beatriz on Oct. 30, 2008, in a match against England.
- The USA’s other substitute was forward Emily Bruder, who replaced Margaret Purce in the 63rd minute.
- U.S. captain Morgan Andrews received a yellow card in the 72nd minute for fouling to stop a French counter-attack.
- The scoreless draw is the U.S. U-17’s second of 2012. The team played China’s U-20 team to a 0-0 tie on April 9 in Chula Vista, Calif.
- It was the first scoreless match for a U.S. women’s team in World Cup play since the third-place game of the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Russia when the Americans played to a 0-0 tie with Brazil before falling in penalty kicks. The USA also tied the semifinal against China 0-0 before losing in PKs.
- The only other scoreless draw in U.S. Women’s World Cup history came in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final against China, where the teams played 120 minutes of scoreless soccer before the USA prevailed in penalty kicks.
- U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team Match Report -
U-17 Women’s National Team vs. France
Date: Sept. 22, 2012
Competition: 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup; Group B
Venue: Lankaran Stadium; Lankaran, Azerbaijan
Kickoff: 6 a.m. ET (3 p.m. local)
Weather: 83 degrees, sunny, hot
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
FRA 0 0 0
USA: 1-Jane Campbell; 3-Brittany Basinger, 5-Maddie Bauer, 12-Mandy Freeman (13-Lizzy Raben, 13), 7-Gabbi Miranda; 10-Morgan Andrews (capt.), 17-Andi Sullivan, 11-Toni Payne; 19-Margaret Purce (2-Emily Bruder, 63), 6-Summer Green, 21-Darian Jenkins
Subs not used: 4-Joanna Boyles, 8-Amber Munerlyn, 9-Lauren Kaskie, 14-Morgan Reid, 15-Claire Wagner, 16-Morgan Stanton, 18-Cassie Miller, 20-Morgan Stearns
Head Coach: Albertin Montoya
1-Romaine Bruneau; 5-Griedge Mbock Bathy, 13-Marion Romanelli, 15-Noemie Carage; 4-Aissatou Tounkara, 10-Sandie Toletti (capt.), 14-Ghoutia Karchouni,
19-Juliane Gathrat (6-Candice Gherbi, 90+3), 20-Delphine Cascarino (8-Laura Blanchard, 85), 7-Lea Declercq (17-Alexandra Atamaniuk, 68), 9-Kadidiatou Diani
Subs not used: 2-Amandine Blanc, 3-Ophelie Gahery, 11-Pauline Cousin, 12-Laurie Saulnier, 16-Claire Jacob, 18-Onema Geyoro, 21-Cindy Perrault
Head Coach: Guy Ferrier
Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 3 / 23
Shots on Goal: 1 / 12
Saves: 12 / 1
Corner Kicks: 6 / 8
Fouls: 9 / 13
Offside: 4 / 2
USA – Morgan Andrews (caution) 72nd minute
USA – Summer Green (caution) 86
Referee: Claudia Umpierrez (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Nadia Weiler (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Luciana Mascarana (URU)
Fourth Official: Aissata Amegee (TOG)
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