U.S. Needs Win Against Norway on Thursday to Earn Spot in Championship
ALGARD, Norway (July 18, 2006) – The U.S. Under-21 Women’s National Team battled Iceland to a 1-1 draw in the second group match for both teams at the 2006 Nordic Cup. Danesha Adams tallied on a penalty kick for the lone U.S. score. The tie gave both teams four points after two matches, with the USA facing Norway and Iceland facing Denmark in the final Group B matches on Thursday, July 20.
The race for the Group B title is wide open. The USA needs to beat Norway, while maintaining their goal difference advantage over Iceland (the USA is at +3, Iceland is at +1), to win the group and earn a berth in the Nordic Cup title game on July 22. A tie would get the USA into the championship if Iceland draws or loses to Denmark. A win for Iceland will put them into the title game if the USA draws or loses to Norway. Norway could sneak in and win the group if they win and Iceland draws or loses with Denmark.
The USA and Iceland took penalty kicks after the match as a tiebreaker in case they are tied on points and other tiebreakers at the end of group play. The USA prevailed on penalty kicks, 3-2, with Noelle Keselica, Sheree Gray and Adams converting for the Americans.
The USA dominated the game and had several near misses, but Iceland defended stoically and the Americans’ finishing lacked some bite. It was only the second time in history that Iceland tied with the USA at any level of the women’s national teams. In 2000, the USA and Iceland senior teams tied 0-0 in Charlotte, N.C.
The USA’s lone goal came in the 50th minute after Iceland handled the ball inside their penalty area. Adams stepped up and drilled her shot into the right corner to tie the match. Iceland’s Margaret Vidarsdottir had scored in the 35th minute off a direct free kick after Adams had fouled a player about 25 yards from the net. The U.S. forward was shown a yellow card on the play.
“Credit to Iceland, they battled us for every ball and got numbers behind the ball extremely well,” said U.S. U-21 WNT head coach Jillian Ellis. “We struggled to unlock them in the first half, but came out a sharper team after the break. We had some terrific opportunities but we just couldn’t finish them off.”
It was the first tie for the USA in a Nordic Cup match since 2003, when the USA drew with Norway, 1-1, but that result was good enough to send the Americans to the title game, where they defeated Sweden, 2-1. The USA has won an unprecedented seven straight Nordic Cup tournaments and eight out of the last nine.
“I was proud of how we battled back, we just had to settle in and play our game,” said defender Kendall Fletcher. “We created a lot of chances, enough to win the game, and now we just have to focus on getting a positive result against Norway.”
In the Group A matches, Germany defeated Finland, 3-0, while England tied Sweden, 1-1. Germany needs just a tie in its last group game against England to earn a spot in the championship game. The English will advance to their first Nordic Cup title game if they can upset the powerful Germans, who will be highly-motivated as they have not won a Nordic Cup since 1995.
Match-up: USA vs. Iceland
Competition: 2006 Under-21 Nordic Cup
Venue: Algard Stadium – Algard, Norway
Date: July 18, 2006; Kickoff – 4 p.m. local / 10 a.m. ET
Weather: Sunny, warm – 77 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
ICE 1 0 1
ICE -- Margaret Vidarsdottir (unassisted) 35th minute.
USA -- Danesha Adams (penalty kick) 50.
USA: 18-Val Henderson; 13-Lauren Wilmoth, 12-Rachel Buehler, 4-Kendall Fletcher, 10-Sarah Huffman - Capt., (19-Noelle Keselica, 46); 5-Brittany Taylor, 2-Sheree Gray, 22-Angie Woznuk (15-Amanda Cinalli, 76); 9- Danesha Adams, 16-Tiffany Weimer (6-Bristyn Davis, 46), 21-India Trotter (13-Katie Griffin, 70).
Subs not used: 1- Cori Alexander, 8-Jennifer Maurer, 11-Rebecca Moros.
Head coach: Jillian Ellis
ICE: 1-Gudbjorg Gunnarsdottir, 2-Gudny Odinsdottir, 4-Malfridur Sigurdardottir, 5-Asta Arnadottir, 6-Holmfridur Magnusdottir (3-Sif Atladottir, 60), 7-Erla Arnarsdottir, 8-Olina Vidarsdottir, 9-Margaret Vidarsdottir, 10-Dora Larusdottir, 17-Greta Samuelsdottir (11-Nina Kristinsdottir, 56), 18-Katrin Omarsdottir.
Subs not used: 12-Sandra Sigurdardottir, 13-Gudrun Hilmarsdottir, 14-Bjork Gunnarsdottir, 15-Helga Johannesdottir, 16-Harpa Thorsteinsdottir.
Head coach: Elisabet Gunnarsdottir
Statistical Summary: USA ICE
Shots: 14 5
Shots on goal: 6 2
Saves: 1 5
Corner Kicks: 5 3
Fouls: 12 19
Offside: 9 0
USA – Brittany Taylor (caution) 30th minute.
USA – Danesha Adams (caution) 34.
Referee: Saija Raatikainen (Finland)
Referee Asst.: June Bendiksen (Norway)
Referee Asst.: Maren Berge (Norway)
Teams W L T Pts GF GA GD
Germany 2 0 0 6 5 0 +5
England 1 0 1 4 4 2 +2
Sweden 0 1 1 1 1 3 -2
Finland 0 2 0 0 1 6 -5
Teams W L T Pts GF GA GD
USA 1 0 1 4 4 1 +3
Iceland 1 0 1 4 4 3 +1
Norway 1 1 0 3 6 3 +3
Denmark 0 2 0 0 0 7 -7
Sunday, July 16
USA 3, Denmark 0
Iceland 3, Norway 2
Germany 2, Sweden 0
England 3, Finland 1
Tuesday, July 18
USA 1, Iceland 1
Norway 4, Denmark 0
England 1, Sweden 1
Germany 3, Finland 0
Thursday, July 20
Denmark v. Iceland
Norway v. USA
Finland v. Sweden
England v. Germany
Saturday, July 22
7th Place Match
5th Place Match
3rd Place Match