RIO DE JANIERO, Brazil (July 18, 2007) – The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Soccer Team picked up an impressive win in its third match of the 2007 Pan American Games, defeating Argentina, 3-0, at João Havelange Stadium and is now virtually assured of a berth in the semifinals.
The USA got goals from midfielder Nikki Washington and forwards Casey Nogueira and Jessica McDonald, the latter four minutes into stoppage time at the end of the game.
The USA leads the group with the full nine points from three matches and a plus-11 goal difference. The top two teams in each group cross-over in the semifinals and in order for the USA to miss the last four, they would have to lose to Mexico by three or more goals in the final group match while Argentina would have to beat Paraguay by nine or more goals, both unlikely prospects.
The USA was dealt a blow when leading scorer Lauren Cheney was ejected with a straight red card in the 68th minute after retaliating for a hard foul by the Argentines. Cheney is definitely out for the final group match against Mexico, and the U.S. team awaits word if she will also be forced to miss the semifinal as well should the suspension be increased to two games.
“It was a very good win that hopefully secured our place in the semifinals,” said U.S. forward Kelley O’Hara, who assisted on the USA’s final goal. “We played a different formation (3-4-3) and it work out really well. Even when we went down a man, we stayed in the game mentally and physically and even got another goal. So it was a real good win for us.”
The USA had given up the first goal of the match in its first two games of the tournament during 7-1 and 3-1 wins over Paraguay and Panama respectively, but this time the Americans struck first, getting on the board in the 20th minute through Washington’s first goal of the competition. It started from a throw-in that Cheney collected down the right flank, got end line and cut a pass back to the top of the six yard box for Washington to side-foot home.
The USA made it 2-0 just before halftime as Nogueira hammered a rebound of her own shot past the goalkeeper from just inside the penalty area. It was her second goal of the tournament.
Playing a woman down for the last 22 minutes, the USA did not break, and instead got a clinching goal as McDonald scored her second of the competition, finishing O’Hara’s slotted cross from six yards out after the speedy striker had beaten her defender to the end line.
Argentina has brought its full Women’s National Team to the Pan Am Games and will participating in its first FIFA Women’s World Cup from Sept. 10-30 in China. The U.S. U-20s face Mexico next on July 20 at the famed Maracana Stadium in a match that can be seen on ESPN Deportes.
In Group A action, Canada and Brazil romped to the semifinals as the hosts downed Ecuador 10-0 and the Maple Leafs pounded Jamaica, 11-1. Canada and Brazil meet in the final Group A match on July 20 for first place with the winner likely avoiding the USA in the semifinal.
U.S. UNDER-20 WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
Match-up: USA vs. Argentina
Competition: 2007 Pan American Games – Group B
Venue: João Havelange Stadium – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date: July 18, 2007; Kickoff – 9:00 a.m. (Local)
Weather: Sunny- 73 degrees
1 2 F
USA 2 1 3
ARG 0 0 0
USA – Nikki Washington (Lauren Cheney) 20th minute.
USA – Casey Nogueira (Unassisted) 44.
USA – Jessica McDonald (Kelley O’Hara) 84.
USA -- 1-Alyssa Naeher; 2-Brittany Taylor, 6-Nikki Marshall, 4-Kaley Fountain, 15-Becky Edwards, 10-Michelle Enyeart (16-Lauren Wilmoth, 76), 11-Tobin Heath, 3-Nikki Washington (12-Kylie Wright, 72), 7-Casey Nogueira (9-Jessica McDonald, 79); 8- Lauren Cheney – Capt., 17- Kelley O’Hara.
Subs not used: 5-Teresa Noyola, 13-Lauren Barnes, 14- Gina Dimartino.
Head Coach: Jill Ellis
ARG – 12-Vanina Correa; 2-Eva Gonzalez, 3-Valeria Cotelo, 4-Gabriela Chavez, 6-Celeste Barbitta (14-Catalina Perez, 52); 8-Clarisa Huber (11-Rosana Gomez, 72), 10-Mariela Coronel (7-Ludmilla Manicler, 68), 13-Florencia Quinones, 16-Andrea Susana Ojeba, 17-Fabiana Vallejos, 18-Maria Belen Potassa.
Subs not used: 1-Romina Anabella Ferro, 5-Carmen Ana Brusca, 9-Natalia Gatti, 15-Florenica Mandrile.
Head Coach: Jose Carlos Borello
USA / ARG
Shots: 10 / 10
Shots on Goal: 6 / 7
Saves: 7 / 3
Corner Kicks: 8 / 6
Fouls: 8 / 12
Offside: 5 / 2
ARG – Eva Gonzalez (caution) 27th minute.
ARG -- Catalina Perez (caution) 54.
USA -- Kaley Fountain (caution) 59.
ARG -- Fabiana Vallejos (caution) 67.
USA – Lauren Cheney (ejection) 68.
ARG -- Ludmilla Manicler (caution) 73.
ARG -- Gabriela Chavez (caution) 88.
Referee: Alicio Pena Junior (BRA)
Asst. Referee: Milton Dos Santos (BRA)
Asst. Referee: Aristeu Tavares (BRA)
4th Official: Helber Lopes (BRA)
Sierra Mist Woman of the Match: Rachel Buehler
2007 Pan American Games Group Standings
Team W L T Pts GF GA GD
CAN 3 0 0 9 22 1 +21
BRA 3 0 0 9 19 0 +19
JAM 1 2 1 4 3 17 -14
URU 0 2 1 1 1 12 -11
ECU 0 3 0 0 0 15 -15
Team W L T Pts GF GA GD
USA 3 0 0 9 13 2 +11
MEX 2 1 0 6 7 1 +6
ARG 2 1 0 6 3 3 0
PAN 0 3 1 1 2 8 -6
PAR 0 2 1 1 2 13 -11
2007 Pan American Games Women’s Soccer Schedule
July 12, 2007 Venue
Argentina 2 vs. Panama 0 Miécimo da Silva Sport Complex
Jamaica 1, Ecuador 0 Miécimo da Silva Sport Complex
Brazil 4, Uruguay 0 João Havelange Stadium
USA 7, Paraguay 1 João Havelange Stadium
July 14, 2007 Venue
Canada 7, Uruguay 0 Miécimo da Silva Sport Complex
USA 3 vs. Panama 1 Miécimo da Silva Sport Complex
Brazil 5, Jamaica 0 João Havelange Stadium
Mexico 5, Paraguay 0 João Havelange Stadium
July 16, 2007 Venue
Panama 1, Paraguay 1 Miécimo da Silva Sport Complex
Jamaica 1, Uruguay 1 Miécimo da Silva Sport Complex
Canada 4, Ecuador 0 João Havelange Stadium
Argentina 1, Mexico 0 João Havelange Stadium
July 18, 2007 Venue
Mexico 2, Panama 0 Miécimo da Silva Sport Complex
USA 3, Argentina 0 João Havelange Stadium
Brazil 10, Ecuador 0 João Havelange Stadium
Canada 11, Jamaica 1 Zico Football Center - CFZ
July 20, 2007 Venue
Argentina vs. Paraguay Miécimo da Silva Sport Complex
Uruguay vs. Ecuador Miécimo da Silva Sport Complex
Mexico vs. USA Maracanã Stadium
Brazil vs. Canada Maracanã Stadium
July 23, 2007 Venue
Semifinals Maracanã Stadium
July 26, 2007 Venue
Finals Maracanã Stadium