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U.S. Women Fall to Germany, 3-1, at U-19 World Championship

USA Will Play For Third-Place on Saturday Against Brazil

BANGKOK, Thailand (November 24, 2004) - Dreams of a second consecutive women's world youth title for the United States ended tonight at a steamy Supachalasai Stadium as the U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team fell to Germany in the first semifinal match, 3-1.

The USA will now play in the third-place match on Saturday, Nov. 27, against Brazil at 4 p.m. local/ 4 a.m. ET at Rachamangala Stadium in Bangkok.

The USA went down a goal just 11 minutes into the match, tied it five minutes later on a German own goal and went into the half all knotted at one.  The Americans then dominated the match for the first 25 minutes of the second half and were seemingly in control of the game when Germany's Melanie Behringer struck on a thundering shot to give her side the lead in the 69th minute.  It was the first German shot of the half.

Needing a goal to send the game into overtime, the Americans pushed forward, and Germany scored another off a wonderful cross from Simone Laudehr that was volleyed home at the far post by Patricia Hanebeck in the 82nd minute to seal the game.

"I thought in the beginning of the second half, especially in the first 20 minutes or so, we were able to develop a very nice rhythm in the game," said U.S. head coach Mark Krikorian.  "Our movement was good and our defending was nice and solid.  But when the Germans were able break us down and create the second goal, it certainly changed the complexion of the game. It seemed that early in the second half the flow of the game was going our direction, but again credit to the German team for being able to defend and limit our chances, get a chance for themselves and score a goal."

The young U.S. team never gave up, but found penetrating the organized Germany back line a difficult task all night. The U.S. team took just six total shots, sending four on goal.

Both sides played a somewhat cautious match and the Americans never really got their attack running at peak velocity.  To the Germans' credit, they had four dangerous chances in the match, and finished three of them, while the young U.S. team did not do enough to stretch German goalkeeper Tessa Rinkes.  Once the Americans went down a goal, the prospect of breaking down the organized and disciplined Germany back line was fleeting, and the Germans possessed the ball well to run out the clock.

The first German goal came on their first shot of the match.  Behringer took a corner kick from the left side that was cleared back out to her on the flank.  She served the ball in again, this time on the ground, and it skipped past a Germany player to Annike Krahn, who blasted her shot past U.S. goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris from seven yards out.

All three German goals were extremely well taken, giving Harris no chance, but the U.S. did give up three goals in the game after giving up just one in the previous four matches.

The USA tied the game just five minutes later on a brilliant piece of dribbling from Sheree Gray down the right wing.  She beat three players to get into the edge of the penalty area and hit a driven cross into the middle.  Krahn tried to clear the ball with her head, but instead sent the ball past her goalkeeper and into the left corner of the net.

The US had a golden chance to take control of the match in the 34th minute when Amy Rodriguez was fouled 23 yards from the goal almost straight away.  Angie Woznuk's shot was heading underneath the crossbar before Rinkes flew to tip it over the goal.  The rest of the half featured very little drama as the teams combined for just five shots before the break.

The Germans created far more problems for the U.S. than any other team in the tournament, but the Americans still managed to limit the dangerous chances. In fact Germany had rarely crossed midfield with possession before the winning goal came.

It originated from some tremendous possession in midfield and finished as Patricia Hanebeck sent a perfect ball into the path of Behringer in the right side of the penalty area and she crushed her first-time shot into the roof of the net from 10 yards out.

Down a goal, U.S. head coach Mark Krikorian pushed defender Rachel Buehler into the front line, moving to 3-4-3 formation, and in the 81st minute sent on forward Jessica Rostedt, the USA's leading scorer in the tournament with three goals.  Germany scored one minute later and the margin was too great to overcome. 

"The German team was much like Australia as they were very organized in the way they defended," said Krikorian.  "We know they were going to try to protect the space behind their back line and that would minimize the amount of room for Rostedt to run.  She's more of an active, running player as opposed to a target player and we were hoping that the Germans had fatigued a little bit and her quickness and speed would allow her into the space, but again the Germans played very well.  They are certainly the best team we've faced in the tournament."

The USA had numerous half-chances to tie the game, the best probably coming in the 59th minute after Rodriguez turned the corner in the left side of the penalty area and cut the ball back.  Megan Rapinoe tried to finish the rolling ball, but her shot was stuffed by the scrambling German defense.  The USA also had a chance in the 79th minute as a long free kick fell into the German penalty area, but the U.S. team plowed into the Germany goalkeeper and a foul was called.

For the most part, the U.S. did a fine job on German star striker Anja Mittag, especially Buehler, who didn't let her get many touches on the ball during the match.

The USA finally got behind the Germany defense in the waning moments of the game, but indicative of the night the Americans had, Rodriguez took her touch too hard and it rolled harmlessly into the arms of Rinkes.

"The first 25 minutes of the second half was a good example of us defending in a positive fashion," said Krikorian.  "It was aggressive, organized and hard.  But again, when the Germans were able to score that second goal, which was a beautiful goal by the way, I think of course we had to take more risk and allow ourselves to be open a little bit.  I don't think it matters if you lose 2-1 or 3-1."

The third-place match will be the third such game the U.S. Women's National Team program has played in its history, also playing for third at the 1995 and 2003 FIFA Women's World Cups.  The USA won both matches.


Match-up:         USA vs. Germany
Competition:    FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship 2004 - Semifinal
Venue:              Supachalasai Stadium; Bangkok, Thailand
Date:               November 24, 2004; Kickoff - 5:00 p.m. Local / 5:00 a.m.
Attendance:     10,500
Weather:          Cloudy, hazy - 91 degrees

Scoring Summary:    
              1    2  F
USA      1   0   1
GER      1   2   3

GER - Annike Krahn (Melanie Behringer)           11th minute.
USA - Own Goal (Annike Krahn)                          16.
GER - Melanie Behringer (Patricia Henebeck)  69.
GER - Patricia Henebeck (Simone Laudehr)     82.

USA: 18-Ashlyn Harris - C; 19-Meagan Holmes, 3-Rachel Buehler, 11-Becky Sauerbrunn, 6-Stephanie Lopez; 5-Sheree Gray, 12-Alexa Orand (17-Jessica Rostedt, 81), 8-Stephanie Logterman, 10-Angie Woznuk; 7-Megan Rapinoe, 16-Amy Rodriguez.
Subs not used: 1-Kelsey Davis, 2-Stephanie Kron, 4-Jen Redmond, 9-Kerri Hanks, 13-Yael Averbuch, 14-Meghan Schnur, 15-Nikki Krzysik, 20-Stacy Lindstrom, 21-Laura Comeau.
Head Coach: Mark Krikorian

GER: 1-Tessa Rinkes; 2-Peggy Kuznik, 3-Anne Van Bonn, 5-Annike Krahn - C, 13-Elena Hauer; 6-Karolin Thomas, 7-Melanie Behringer (17-Angelika Feldbacher, 76), 10-Celia Okoyino Da Mbabi, 20-Patricia Hanebeck; 9-Anja Mittag, 11-Simone Laudehr.
Subs not used: 4-Susanne Kasperczyk, 8-Lena Goessling, 12-Kathrin Laengert, 14-Carolin Schiewe, 15-Stephanie Mpalaskas, 16-Annika Niemeier, 18-Nina Jokuschies, 19- Anna Blässe, 21-Carolin Veeh.
Head Coach: Silvia Neid
Statistical Summary:         
Shots: 6/8
Shots on Goal: 4/6 
Saves: 3/4
Corner Kicks: 8/5
Fouls: 12/12
Offside: 7/2

Misconduct Summary:  None.

Referee:        Anna De Toni (Italy)
Asst. Referee:  Cristina Cini (Italy)
Asst. Referee:      Anouk De Jong (Netherlands)
4th Official:         Pannipar Kamnueng (Thailand)

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