England came from behind on the final day of Group A to draw 1-1 with New Zealand and slip into second place. France, who came from behind to defeat Argentina 3-1 in today’s other Group B game, will also advance as the second place team. They will take on Nigeria, who won Group A on Sunday in Coquimbo.
“I’d like to congratulate China on a very good game,” said U.S. head coach Tony DiCicco. “They are a very good team that probably deserves to be advancing to the second round. I think today we played hard, but didn’t always play smart. A defensive mistake led to the first goal and then we were chasing the game.”
DiCicco used his third different lineup in as many games, with three players making their first starts of the tournament. He was forced to use an early substitution when starting defender Kierstan Dallstream went down with an injury in the ninth minute and was replaced by Elli Reed.
Having already advanced to the quarterfinals, the U.S. was playing to assure themselves of the top place in Group B. China, needing a win to stay alive in the tournament, came out firing on all cylinders and took 18 shots to the USA's eight. China's defense earned its second shutout of the tournament by shutting down a powerful American attack that came into the game with six goals in the first two games.
The best chance for the U.S. in the first game came in the 42nd minute when Michelle Enyeart lofted a ball over the Chinese backline. Sydney Leroux battled captain Weng Xinzhi for the ball and was able to get a shot off inside the penalty area, but Weng knocked her off balance just enough to force a weak shot right at Zhang. That would be as close as the U.S. would come though, with China digging deep to find an answer for every attack.
China put the U.S. under pressure throughout most of the game, holding most of the possession in the early going, but their first shot of the game didn’t come until the 20th minute. China’s best opportunity in the opening stanza came from the foot of Li Wen. Li ripped a shot from distance that barely missed the upper left corner of Jones’ goal.
The first goal of the game came from a Li Danyang corner kick in the 49th minute. She whipped in a cross from the right side and Zhang won a header at the far post. She powered through the challenge and was able to reach around her defenders and touch it over the line.
China doubled their lead just seven minutes later on a rocket from Liu Shukun. Liu saw an opening and hit a driven shot from 25 yards out that snuck past Jones at the near post.
Down 2-0 in the second half, Alex Morgan, came on to try to spark the attack, but China was able to shut her down and keep her scoreless for the first time in this World Cup. Morgan remains tied atop the list of leading scorers in the tournament with three goals so far.
The U.S. will return to Chillan, where they have had success with 3-0 victories over both France and Argentina, on Friday morning. They will have two days of training leading up to Sunday's showdown with England.
- U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT -
Match: U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team vs. China PR
Date: Nov. 22, 2008
Competition: FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup – Group B
Venue: Estadio German Becker; Temuco, Chile
Kickoff: 4 p.m. / 2 p.m. ET
Weather: 75 degrees, humid
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
CHN 0 2 2
CHN – Zhang Rui (Li Dangyang) 49th minute
CHN – Liu Shukun (unassisted) 59
USA: 18-Chantel Jones; 25-Kierstan Dallstream (6-Elli Reed, 9), 15-Lauren Fowlkes, 17-Nikki Marshall, 2-Kaley Fountain; 14-Keelin Winters (capt.), 9-Gina DiMartino (12-Ingrid Wells, 62), 11-Christine Nairn; 10-Michelle Enyeart, 7-Alyssa Mautz (13-Alex Morgan, 62), 19-Sydney Leroux
Subs not used: 1-Alyssa Naeher, 3-Meghan Klingenberg, 4-Liz Harkin, 8-Becky Edwards, 16-Nikki Washington, 21-Cat Parkhill
Head Coach: Tony DiCicco
CHN: 20-Zhang Yue; 2-Wang Lingling, 3-Li Danyang, 5-Weng Xinzhi (capt.), 18-Pang Fengyue (8-Zhu Wei 90+); 6-Zhang Rui, 7-Xu Wenjia (9-Gu Yasha, 46), 10-Lou Jiahui, 15-Qu Shanshan, 17-Liu Shukun; 12-Li Wen
Subs not used: 1-Chi Xiaohui, 4-Ruan Xiaoqing, 11-Li Lin, 13-Li Dongna, 14-Xu Yanfen, 16-Zeng Xiulan, 19-Mao Aihong, 21-Wang Shimeng
Head Coach: Zhang Guilai
Stats Summary: USA / CHN
Shots: 8 / 18
Shots on Goal: 2 / 7
Saves: 5 / 2
Corner Kicks: 1 / 3
Fouls: 12 / 7
Offside: 0 / 0
CHN - Qu Shanshan (caution) 35th minute
CHN - Lou Jiahui (caution) 89
Referee: Tanja Schett (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Anna Nystrom (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Helen Caro (SWE)
Fourth Official: Gyoengyi Gaal (HUN)
Sierra Mist Woman of the Match: Nikki Marshall