The U.S. WNT picked up a resounding win in its second group match of the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, but the opponents Gambia did not make it easy.
The USA managed just one goal in the first half, that coming on a penalty kick, before exploding for five in the second to win 6-0 and set up a crucial Group B finale against North Korea on Sept. 29.
Forward Summer Green notched a hat trick that was sixth for a female U.S. player in a Women's World Cup, following Carin Gabarra and Michelle Akers (five goals) in the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup in China, Kelly Wilson in the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women's World Cup in Canada, Sydney Leroux in the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Germany and Maya Hayes in the 2012 FIFA Women's World Cup in Japan.
Amber Munerlyn, Toni Payne and Morgan Stanton also tallied in the match. It was Stanton's first international goal.
Amber Munerlyn scored just 25 seconds into the second half
Earlier in the day, Group B leader Korea DPR and France played to a 1-1 draw. North Korea (1-0-1) leads the group with four points and a plus-11 goal difference after walloping Gambia on the first day of matches. The U.S. (1-0-1) also has four points, but sits at plus-6 in goal difference. Third-place France (0-0-2) is very much in the mix with two points, but with a game against Gambia on Sept. 29.
The top two teams in Group B advance to the quarterfinal stage of the tournament.
Darian Jenkins proved difficult to slow down vs. Gambia, even with a tug of the jersey
If the teams are also tied on goal difference at the end of group play, goals scored would be the next tiebreaker. If somehow the USA and France were to be tied on points, goal difference and goals scored, lots would be drawn to determine which country advances in second place in the group.
The U.S. could potentially advance in second place with a loss on Saturday, but only if Gambia were to defy the odds with a tie or a win against the heavily favored France squad.
Emily Bruder and the Gambian GK Aminata Gaye embrace after the match