U.S. Women Roll Past Australia, 2-0, and into Semifinals Against Germany
Americans Travel to Bangkok Tomorrow, Face the Germans on Wednesday Live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker at 5 a.m. ET
CHIANG MAI, Thailand (November 21, 2004) - The U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team got second half goals from Amy Rodriguez and Megan Rapinoe to record a 2-0 victory at 700th Anniversary Stadium in the quarterfinal of the FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship. The win earned the young U.S. team a spot in the semifinals against Germany on Wednesday, Nov. 24 in Bangkok (Kickoff 5 p.m. local / 5 a.m. ET). Fans can follow all the action of another USA-Germany clash live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker presented by Philips Electronics.
In the other quarterfinal matches, Germany's Anja Mittag scored to tie Nigeria at 1-1 with just five minutes left. The team's played 30 minutes of scoreless overtime before Germany won on penalty kicks, 5-4, with Mittag nailing the clinching shot. Brazil had an even wilder ride, going behind huge underdog Russia twice before tying the game 2-2 on literally the last kick of the game in the 94th minute as Cristiane scored a header off a corner kick. Brazil, who will face China in the other semifinal, then put away an exhausted Russian team with two goals in overtime for the 4-2 win. 2002 FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship runners-up Canada crashed out of the tournament, falling 3-1 to China after Canadian goalkeeper Stacey Van Boxmeer was ejected just one minute into the match for a foul in the penalty area. China's Zhang Ying converted the penalty kick and her side never trailed.
Both U.S. goals came off driven shots from the distance, the first in the 54th minute when defender Stephanie Lopez ghosted through the defense on the left side and crushed a knuckling 30-yard blast that slammed off the chest of Australia goalkeeper Alison Logue. Rodriguez was first to the ball, pouncing on the rebound to coolly slot her shot into the right corner in the 54th minute for her second goal of the tournament.
The USA added an insurance goal in the 68th minute as Rapinoe took a pass from Lopez on the left side and dribbled into the middle. When no Australia defender stepped to her, she struck a wicked swerving shot from 28 yards out that had Logue leaning to her right before it whipped past her left arm and into the net. It was also Rapinoe's second goal of the tournament.
The U.S. team was playing on just two days rest, while Australia had four, but it was the Americans who totally dominated the tempo of the game, out-shooting the Young Matildas 12-4 while not allowing the Oceania champions a shot on goal over the 90 minutes.
The Australians played a tactically sound match, working to get multiple players behind the ball and dropping their back four, which often became a back five, extremely deep to limit the USA's service over the top.
With Australia so withdrawn, the Americans had to find space in front of the back line, which is where both goals originated, and Rodriguez was superb on the night playing in that seam.
Rapinoe, who started the match at attacking midfielder, provided most of the USA's early danger, creating three chances before 18 minutes were gone. The fires game when leapt to get her head on a corner kick from Lopez, but drilled it over the crossbar. Rapinoe then struck a dangerous shot that skidded just past the left post from 22 yards out and soon after forced Logue into a diving save, slipping two defenders before firing a shot from 20-yards.
Australia did not produce a dangerous chance until 30 minutes into the game when a long cross brushed off the head of Leena Khamis and wide of the left post. U.S. goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris did not make a save in the match while picking up her third shutout of the tournament.
U.S. head coach Mark Krikorian sent on playmaker Angela Woznuk at halftime, moving Rapinoe to forward, and the midfielder immediately made the USA more dangerous with her darting runs and pinpoint passes.
The USA put together a flurry about 60 minutes into the match as a Sheree Gray cross from the right side flashed in front of the flying Rapinoe, only to land at the feet of Alexa Orand at the far post. The seventeen-year old cut past a defender and played a dangerous cross through the goalmouth, but there were no U.S. players there to finish.
Australia had just one true chance in the second half, that coming in the 84th minute as a cross from the left side almost found the foot of the sliding Catherine Cannuli, who had come on in the 78th minute. It was far too little, way to late for the Young Matildas, who showed no signs of getting through the USA's back line of Rachel Buehler, Becky Sauerbrunn, Megan Holmes and Lopez, and the Americans were content to possess the ball until time ran out.
The win gave the USA three victories over Confederation champions in this tournament, also defeating Asian champions South Korea and European champions Spain, who along with CONCACAF champion Canada and African champion Nigeria, are all out of the tournament.
The USA travels to Bangkok tomorrow to prepare for their semifinal match against Germany, a rematch of the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship semifinal, won by the USA, 4-1. Brazil will meet China in the second match of the night at 7:45 p.m. local / 7:45 a.m. ET. Both games will be played at Supachalasai Stadium.
U.S. UNDER-19 WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
Match-up: USA vs. Australia
Competition: FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship 2004 - Quarterfinal
Venue: 700th Anniversary Stadium; Chiang Mai, Thailand
Date: November 21, 2004; Kickoff - 7:45 p.m. Local / 7:45 a.m. ET
Weather: Cloudy, cool - 77 degrees
1 2 F
USA 0 2 2
AUS 0 0 0
USA - Amy Rodriguez (Stephanie Lopez) 54th minute.
USA - Megan Rapinoe (Alexa Orand) 68.
USA: 18-Ashlyn Harris; 19-Meagan Holmes, 3-Rachel Buehler, 11-Becky Sauerbrunn, 6-Stephanie Lopez; 5-Sheree Gray, 12-Alexa Orand, 8-Stephanie Logterman, 7-Megan Rapinoe; 17-Jessica Rostedt (10-Angie Woznuk, 46, 15-Nikki Krzysik, 76), 16-Amy Rodriguez.
Subs not used: 1-Kelsey Davis, 2-Stephanie Kron, 4-Jen Redmond, 9-Kerri Hanks, 13-Yael Averbuch, 14-Meghan Schnur, 20-Stacy Lindstrom, 21-Laura Comeau.
Head Coach: Mark Krikorian
AUS: 1-Alison Logue; 2-Caitlin Cooper, 3-Kim Carroll, 4-Emma Davison, 5-Ellen Beaumont; 14-Nicole Somi (8-Lauren Colthorpe, 70), 6-Sally Shipard, 10-Collette McCallum, 15-Leah Blayney (17-Kylie Ledbrook, 58); 9-Selin Kuralay, 19-Leena Khamis (11-Catherine Cannuli, 78).
Subs not used: 7-Jenna Tristram, 12-Julia Bazi, 13-Danielle Brogan, 16-Briony Holcombe; 18-Yasmin Favretti, 20-Alannah Reed, 21-Monique Jackson
Head Coach: Adrian Santrac
Shots on Goal: 5/0
Corner Kicks: 4/1
Misconduct Summary: None.
Referee: Mayumi Oiwa (Japan)
Asst. Referee: Fu Hongjue (China)
Asst. Referee: Saori Takahashi (Japan)
4th Official: Hong Eun Ah (South Korea)
Germany 1, Nigeria 1 (Germany wins 5-4 in PKs)
Brazil 4, Russia 2 (OT)
USA 2, Australia 0
China 3, Canada 1
USA vs. Germany 5:00 p.m. local / 5:00 a.m. ET Supachalasai Stadium (Bangkok)
Brazil vs. China 7:45 p.m. local / 7:45 a.m. ET Supachalasai Stadium (Bangkok)
U.S. Quote Sheet:
U.S. head coach Mark Krikorian on the match:
"I thought that Australia did a great job of minimizing our chances. They were very organized and disciplined. At halftime, I reminded our team that we needed to make sure to be tight in our defending and not push too many players forward and give them space for the counter, and I think we did that. We also knew that sooner or later we would get a couple chances and that it was important that when that chance came to finish it, and we did that".
Krikorian on if he was happy with the patience his team showed in breaking down the Aussies:
"I was very satisfied (with the team's patience) to be honest with you. We've been talking about a professional approach to the game, being sophisticated in the way we play rather than just running and chasing and pressing all the time. I thought we played very well in that sense."
Krikorian on Germany, the USA's opponent in the semifinal:
"The Germany team showed their resiliency today (in the comeback win over Nigeria). They have a very special player up front in Anja Mittag, arguably the best front player in the tournament. Their organization is very good, and we know the Germans very well. Obviously, both countries have been very successful at the women's level and youth level and we're going to be facing a heck of a team in the Germans."
U.S. forward Megan Rapinoe on her goal:
"I wasn't going to shoot. I kept trying to bait them because I saw Wozzy (Angela Woznuk) on my right. I saw a girl front of me and I kept trying get her to step to me for about 10 yards so I could play Wozzy, but she never stepped up and it was a wide open shot."
Rapinoe on breaking down the Australians:
"I knew the goals would come, it was just a matter of time. It wasn't frustrating. It was just a matter of being patient and waiting for the right moment to attack. Well, I guess it was a little bit frustrating, but we just had to keep chipping away."
U.S. forward Amy Rodriguez on her goal:
"I knew that shot was going to go in or hit off the goalie or the post, so I knew I should try to follow it up. It happened so quick, I was just thinking keep it low because you see people hit those over all the time."
U.S. goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris on the match:
"It definitely was a bit frustrating as we had some troubles breaking them down, but we played great defensively. We have a whole other level to bring out on this team and we need to pick it up next game. We came out a little bit overconfident I think and we need to start stronger against Germany."