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U.S. Under-19 WNT Fall 2-1 in Overtime to Canada in CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament Final

* Josee Belanger Buries Header Late in Second Overtime Period for Canada Victory
* Kerri Hanks Scores Equalizer in First Half for U.S., Finishes Tournament as the Leading Goal Scorer With Nine Goals in Four Games
* U.S. Finishes Second in Tournament, Qualified for World Championship With Victory in Semifinals on Friday

OTTAWA, Canada (Sunday, June 6, 2004) – In another overtime tournament final thriller between the neighboring countries, the U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team fell to Canada 2-1 in the championship match of the 2004 CONCACAF U-19 Women’s Final Qualifying Tournament in front of 3,300 fans at Frank Clair Stadium in Ottawa, Canada.

With both teams already qualifying for the 2004 FIFA World Championship in Thailand from Nov. 10-27, the match was still a high intensity affair, as both teams wanted to earn the label as the top team in the CONCACAF region. Behind a energetic pro-Canadian crowd, Canada came out of the blocks sprinting as Aysha Jamani found the back of the net in just the third minute, but U.S. forward Kerri Hanks, who finished as the leading scorer of the tournament, scored late in the first half to tie the match before halftime.

With the game tied after regulation, the match went into two 15-minute overtime periods. It looked like the game was destined for penalty kicks, but Josee Belanger’s header in the waning minutes of the second overtime gave Canada the victory. 

“It is disappointing of course because I thought our players put in the effort and came away with some opportunities,” U.S. Under-19 WNT head coach Mark Krikorian said. “In the end though we had a couple breakdowns and give credit to Canada for taking advantage of them. We’ll go back to the drawing board and continue to work to improve and prepare for the World Championship during the upcoming months.”

Canada pressured the U.S. backline from the opening whistle and won a corner kick a minute into the match after Katie Thorlakson’s blast from the top of the area was parried out by a sprawling Ashlyn Harris. On the ensuing corner kick, Veronique Maranda sent the ball inside the six-yard box and Harris was able to get a fist to it to push it out of the area. Thorlakson was able to run it down on the left side and sent it back in front of the goal where Jamani hit a shot that was saved off the line by Stephanie Logterman, but it deflected straight back to the Canadian forward and she finished her second opportunity, blasting it into the net for her fifth goal of the tournament.

Despite falling behind 1-0 and having the crowd against them, the U.S. stayed composed and began pushing forward into the attack. Angie Woznuk began controlling the midfield and slipping passes through behind the Canadian defense for speedsters Sheree Gray and Hanks, as the U.S. looked to get back into the match with a equalizer. But goalkeeper Stacey Van Boxmeer would demonstrate why she ended up being named the goalkeeper of the tournament as she came off her line, sometimes five to ten yards outside the penalty area, to cut off the through balls just beating the U.S. forwards to the spot.  

Canada provided Harris with her busiest afternoon of the tournament as they continued to pepper the U.S. goal, taking a total of 14 shots (compared to eight for the U.S.). In the 16th minute, Canada had a great chance to double their lead off a free kick, but Kara Lang’s header went wide right.

A few minutes later, Harris collided with Belanger as they both went up for a long ball that was served in from Canada’s backline. Harris clearly had position on the play and rose before Belanger, who ended up undercutting the veteran ‘keeper, forcing her to fall awkwardly on her back. Belanger was called for a foul and both players were on the turf for a few moments before getting up and continuing to play. 

The U.S. was finally able to break through the Canadian defense on a nice build-up that started in the back. The ball found its way to Woznuk, who deftly played a ball up the middle for Hanks, who raced into the box and with a defender on her back and pushed it across the area to a wide-open Gray. With the tempo of the ball a bit too fast, Gray used her quickness to run it down and took a shot from a tough angle to the right of the goal, slipping it through Van Boxmeer’s legs and hitting the right post. The ball deflected back to the middle where Hanks was able to get a foot on it, blasting it off a defender and into the net.

In the second half, the U.S. was more assertive as the insertion of Kia McNeill for Gray provided the U.S. with some strength up front. McNeill was able to get off a shot five minutes in, lunging for an Orand cross, but her attempt was well over the bar.

Canada continued to push forward as well, knocking long balls into the USA’s end, but Krikorian’s decision to start the six-foot Stacy Lindstrom as a central defender worked well for the U.S. defense as she was able to win the majority of services sent in.

Canada had their best opportunity to take the lead in the 56th minute when a poor back pass by the U.S. was intercepted by Belanger about 25 yards out on the left side. She quickly found Thorlakson standing inside the U.S. penalty area. Thorlakson had time to take a couple touches and then fired on goal from about 15 yards out, but Harris come up with a gem of a save to keep the game tied, sprawling out to her right to knock it away.

Five minute later, it was the U.S. with a chance to go up a goal, as Woznuk controlled an attack up the left flank with a string of passes that provided a shot on frame. Near the center circle, Woznuk played a give-and-go with Orand, and then McNeill, before pushing it out wide to Orand, who had continued her run down the sideline. Orand collected the ball, cut inside the penalty area and ripped a low shot, but Van Boxmeer was well positioned for the save.

In the final two minutes, both the U.S. and Canada had quality chance to finish the game in regulation. Lang unloaded on a 35-yard free kick that barely rose over the crossbar, while Hanks got a foot to a Lindstrom throw-in that bounced around in the penalty area, but Van Boxmeer was able to collect it.

In overtime, both teams looked sluggish as fatigue set in and the number of opportunities were few are far between as the U.S. didn’t force Van Boxeem into a save during the extra time. The best chance for either team in the first overtime came when Belanger got free at the top of the box and ripped a laser before Sauerbrunn could get over to defend. The ball was just high, ending up in landing on top of the net.

In the second overtime, Canada had the only two shots on goal, with the last one ending up being the game winner. After winning a free kick just beyond the center circle, Lang served the ball to the right post where Belanger was able to rise up and head a looping ball over Harris and into the left side of the net.
The U.S. qualified for its second straight U-19 World Championship with their semifinal victory over Mexico and will have five months to prepare to defend its crown against the best in the world in Thailand from Nov. 10-27. The U.S. won the inaugural U-19 World Championship in 2002 behind a golden goal from Lindsay Tarpley in overtime for a 1-0 victory over Canada in Edmonton.

Canada captured the second of two CONCACAF bids available to the U-19 World Championship after defeating Costa Rica 4-0 in the second semifinal played directly after the USA-Mexico match.

Notes: In the Third Place match played earlier at Frank Clair Stadium, Costa Rica defeated Mexico in a spirited match 4-3 ... The USA's goal was the first and only allowed by Canada during the entire tournament ... Other tournament awards: Emily Zurrer (Canada) won the Most Valuable Player award, Mexico won the Fair Play award.   

- U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team Game Report -

Participants: U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team vs. Canada
Competition: CONCACAF U-19 Qualifying Tournament
Location: Frank Clair Stadium; Ottawa, Canada
Date: June 6, 2004
Attendance: 3,300
Weather: Cool and cloudy, 65 degrees

Scoring Summary:
                                   1st    2nd   Overtime    Final
United States               1       0            0            1
Canada                        1       0             1            2

CAN – Aysha Jamani                                            3rd minute
USA – Kerri Hanks                                                42nd
CAN – Josee Belanger (Kara Lang)                   118th 

USA – 18-Ashlyn Harris; 3-Rachel Buehler, 6-Stephanie Lopez, 20-Stacy Lindstrom, 11-Becky Sauerbrunn; 8-Stephanie Logterman, 4-Nikki Krzysik (12-Yael Averbuch, 46), 13-Alexa Orand, 10-Angie Woznuk; 9-Kerri Hanks, 5-Sheree Gray (14-Kia McNeill, 46 ; 7-Bristyn Davis, 116).
Subs not used: 1-Kelsey Davis, 15-Megan Rapinoe, 16-Stephanie Kron, 19-Chioma Igwe.

CAN – 1-Stacey Van Boxmeer, 2-Katie Radchuck, 5-Emily Zurrer, 7-Amanda Cicchini, 8-Veronique Maranda (10 Selenia Iacchelli, 77 ; 9-Lisa Collison 115); 11-Josee Belanger, 14-Aysha Jamani (13-Jodi-Anne Robinson, 65), 15-Kara Lang, 16-Katie Thorlakson; 17-Brittany Timko, 18-Sari Raber
Subs not used: 3-Marie-Emilie Perrault-Morier, 4-Caroline Vanderpool, 6-Justine Labrecque, 20-Stephanie Labbe.

Statistical Summary:
                                     USA      CAN
Shots                              8           14
Shots on goal                 8           9
Saves                              7            7
Corner Kick                   2             6
Fouls                              24           24
Offside                           4             0

Misconduct Summary:
CAN – Jodi-Anne Robinson (caution)        75th minute

Referee: Dianne Fierrera James (Guyana)
Assistant: Patricia Pacheco (El Salvador)
Assistant: Paulette Riley (Jamaica)
4th Official: Virginia Tovar (Mexico)

2004 CONCACAF U-19 Qualifying Tournament
Group A
Team        GP   W   L   T    PTS   GF   GA   GD
Canada      3      3    0    0      6      14      0    +14
Mexico      3      2    1    0      6      11     6      +5
Panama     3      1    2    0       0       3     12     -9
Jamaica     3      0    3    0       0       2     12    -10

Group B
Team             GP   W   L   T    PTS   GF   GA   GD
USA                3     2    0    1      6       25     1    +24
Costa Rica      3      2    0    1      6       15     1    +14
T&T                3     1    2    0      3        4     16    -12
Dom. Rep.       3     0    3    0      0       1     27    -26

2004 CONCACAF U-19 Qualifying Tournament
May 28
Group A
Mexico 5, Panama 1
Canada 4, Jamaica 0

Group B
Costa Rica 4, Trinidad & Tobago 1
USA 14, Dominican Republic 0

May 30
Group A
Mexico 6, Jamaica 2
Canada 7, Panama 0

Group B
Costa Rica 11, Dominican Republic 0
USA 11, Trinidad & Tobago 1

June 1
Group A
Panama 2, Jamaica 0
Canada 3, Mexico 0

Group B
Trinidad & Tobago 2, Dominican Republic 1
USA 0, Costa Rica 0

June 4
USA 6,
Mexico 0
Canada 4, Costa Rica 0

June 6
Third Place Match
Costa Rica 4, Mexico 3

USA 1, Canada 2