LARNACA, Cyprus (March 10, 2008) -- The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team defeated the full Women’s National Team of the Netherlands, 2-0, to win its group at the Cyprus Women’s Cup 2008, earning a match against Canada’s full Women’s National Team in the championship game on March 12.
The Cyprus Women’s Cup is being held concurrently and with a similar format as the Algarve Cup in Portugal, where the USA’s full Women’s National Team will meet Denmark in the title game on March 12. The Cyprus Women’s Cup 2008 features five full women’s national teams and the U.S. U-20s. The USA defeated Scotland, 2-1, in its other group match.
“This was a very good performance against a very solid Holland full team,” said U.S. head coach Tony DiCicco. “Clearly it was our best performance since I took over in January and a performance that showed talent, maturity and a strong resolve to withstand everything that Holland did to try to equalize, without losing composure or control of the game.”
U.S. captain Nikki Washington created the first goal with a nice dribble down the right side, beating a Dutch defender. She cut the ball back across the goal for Kelley O’Hara, who finished first-time from about six yards out into the left side of the net.
"I think it was the best game we've played this trip,” said O’Hara, a veteran of the U.S. team that played in the 2004 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship. “Our attack was much better and we got a lot of chances and were able to finish two. I think the best part of the game was the second half and our ability to hold onto the lead and post the shut out."
The U-20s battled evenly with a Holland team that was beaten 2-0 by the full U.S. Women’s National Team at the Peace Cup in South Korea in 2006, with each country firing 11 shots on the day. U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made a handful of great saves to keep the Dutch scoreless.
But the Americans got a clincher just before the final whistle as substitute Michelle Enyeart gathered up a loose ball that had been dribbled into the danger zone by O’Hara. Enyeart took a touch to the left and scored from eight yards out to seal the match.
“I am extremely proud of our young team and how they are translating concepts from limited training and video reviews onto the field,” said DiCicco. “Alyssa Naeher in goal and Kelly O’Hara scoring our first goal for the USA were very, very good today. We play Canada in the final which will be our biggest challenge to date and I look forward to competing against my friend Even Pellerud once again.”
The U.S. U-20s played Canada in the semifinal of the 2007 Pan American Games last summer in Rio de Janeiro, earning a 2-1 upset on two goals from forward Lauren Cheney, who was playing as an “overage” player on that team. Cheney is currently with the full U.S. team in Portugal at the Algarve Cup.
The U.S. U-20s are currently in preparations for qualifying for the 2008 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup to be held in Chile from Nov. 19-Dec. 7.
- U.S. UNDER-20 WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT -
Match-up: USA vs. Netherlands Women’s National Team
Competition: Cyprus Women’s Cup 2008
Venue: GSZ - Larnaca, Cyprus
Date: March 10, 2008
Weather: Sunny – 78 degrees
1 2 F
USA 0 2 2
NED 0 0 0
USA – Kelley O’Hara (Nikki Washington) 32nd minute.
USA – Michelle Enyeart (Unassisted) 91+.
USA – 1-Alyssa Naeher; 3-Lauren Barnes (16-Meghan Klingenberg, 78), 19-Lauren Fowlkes, 2-Brittney Macdonald, 4-Elli Reed; 10-Teresa Noyola (20-Ingred Wells, 70), 15-Keelin Winters, 6-Amanda DaCosta (8-Becky Edwards, 54); 9-Gina DiMartino (5-Kaley Fountain, 89), 13-Kelley O’Hara, 14-Nikki Washington – Capt. (7-Michelle Enyeart, 58).
Subs not sued: 11-Brittney Steinbruch, 12-Sinead Farrelly, 17-Lauren Wilmoth, 18-Kristin Arnold.
Head Coach: Tony DiCicco
NED – 16-Petra Dugardein, 2-Dyanne Bito, 8-Karin Legemate, 3-Liesbeth Migchelsen – Capt., 13-Rood Kwakkenbos; 7-Annemieke Kiesel-Griffioen (5-Daphne Koster, 46), 6-Sherida Spitse, 20-Kristen Van de Ven; 17-Nangila Van Eyck, 11-Sylvia Smit, 18-Jessica Torny (10-Karin Stevens, 46).
Head Coach: Vera Pauw
USA / NED
Shots: 11 / 11
Shots on Goal: 7 / 7
Saves: 7 / 5
Corner Kicks: 3 / 3
Fouls: 16/ 10
Offside: 1 / 0