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USA Eliminated from 2012 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Despite Finishing with Five Points in Group B

  • U.S. Ties Korea DPR 1-1 to Finish Group Play Undefeated, but Fails to Advance to Quarterfinals on Goal Difference
  • Korea DPR, France Advance Out of Group B
  • USA’s Darian Jenkins Scores Opening Goal in 2nd Minute, but Korea DPR Equalizes in the 4th Minute

BAKU, Azerbaijan (Sept. 29, 2012) – The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team drew with Korea DPR 1-1 to finish undefeated in Group B play with five points at the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. In an extremely rare occurrence, North Korea and France also finished with five points, but as both ended group play with a superior goal difference over the Americans, the USA was eliminated from the tournament.

The top two finishers in each of the four groups advance to quarterfinal stage. Korea DPR, France and the USA all tied their matches against each other, but North Korea and France move on to the quarterfinal stage as the deciding factor in the group ended up being who could score more goals against Gambia.

In Saturday’s other group match, France defeated Gambia 10-2 and finished with an eight-goal difference. North Korea scored 11 goals against Gambia to win the group and the USA mustered six scores against the team from Africa.

“I thought it was a well-played game from both sides,” said U.S. head coach Albertin Montoya. “It was probably our best game in the tournament so far, but that’s football. We played with a lot of heart and passion. We went forward and created chances and so did North Korea. I think a 1-1 game was the score it probably should have been. Our team executed and I’m very proud of the way they played. It’s unfortunate to get five points in the group stage and you don’t go through, but this was the Group of Death and we didn’t come out on top. But credit to our team for playing the way they did today.”

With just under 20 minutes left in both Group B matches that kicked off at the same time, the USA was locked in a 1-1 battle with North Korea while France led Gambia 4-2. France then reeled off six goals in 19 minutes to move past the USA on goal difference and into the second spot in the group while earning a quarterfinal berth.

The Group B results marked the first time ever that three teams in one group finished with five points at a FIFA Under-17 World Cup. In fact, the USA’s third-place finish in Group B marked the first time in the history of a FIFA Women’s World Cup at any age level that a team got five points from group play and failed to advance to the knockout rounds.

Korea DPR advances to its third straight U-17 quarterfinal after winning the event in 2008 and taking fourth place in 2010. France advances to its first U-17 World Cup quarterfinal stage.

Darian Jenkins scored the USA’s lone goal early and goalkeeper Jane Campbell made seven saves. Korea DPR outshot the Americans 22-10, but many of the shots were from distance and flew far from the U.S. net. Campbell was tested severely just once when she dove to her right to spectacularly scoop away a North Korean header off a corner kick.

North Korea possessed the ball very well during the match, but found it tough to break through the U.S. defense as Montoya’s entire team pressured well all over the field, from the forwards all the way back. The opposition did skip dangerous shots just outside the woodwork on several occasions, but the U.S. back line was tremendously tough, led by center-back Mandy Freeman who had missed almost all of the first two games after getting a knock to the face early in the first match against France.

The match started with frenetic pace as both teams traded goals in the opening minutes. Jenkins scored in the second minute after Summer Green did well to dig a ball out of midfield and play a pass down the right flank to Amber Munerlyn. The U.S. forward did extremely well to lift a cross to the far post from the corner. Running toward the left post, Jenkins deftly volleyed the looping ball from closer range with her left foot into the lower right corner for a 1-0 lead. The goal was her first of the tournament.

Korea DPR responded two minutes later as Ri Un Sim trapped a long pass from Jon So Yon inside the box, turned and fired low to the right side of the net for her fifth goal of the U-17 Women’s World Cup. The goal was the first and only score allowed by the USA in the tournament after shutting out France 0-0 and Gambia 6-0 in the first two Group B matches.

Korea DPR had a great look at goal in the 55th minute on a semi-breakaway when Choe Yun Gyong received the ball on the left with room to go toward goal. Instead of shooting, she cut to her right and Mandy Freeman recovered to block her shot.

The USA’s counterattack forced North Korea into three yellow cards for fouling American players as they ran into their defensive third, but the U.S. team couldn’t turn those set plays into goals.

In the 86th minute, the U.S. came close to scoring a go-ahead tally – and a goal that would have put the team through to the quarterfinals – when Morgan Andrews struck a free kick from about 35 yards out that hit the crossbar near the upper left corner. The USA could not get on the rebound and crafty North Korea did well to kill the rest of the game.

Additional Notes:

  • The U.S. U-17s did not lose a single international game this year. Their overall record in 2012 is 13-0-4.
  • U.S. head coach Albertin Montoya made three starting lineup changes from the victory against Gambia. Captain Morgan Andrews, who got a rest for the previous group match, started in the midfield and Gabbi Miranda and Mandy Freeman started in the defense. Freeman sustained an injury to her head in the scoreless draw against France on Sept. 22 and had to be subbed out in the early minutes.
  • Heading into the USA’s final group match, FIFA ruled that one of Summer Green’s three goals against Gambia was an own goal by Amie Jarju. Green officially has three hat tricks in 2012, all coming during World Cup Qualifying.
  • U.S. goalkeeper Jane Campbell allowed only her second goal in 13 international matches this year.
  • U.S. head coach Albertin Montoya made three late subs to try to spur the U.S. attack, sending on midfielder Morgan Stanton in the 82nd minute, forward Emily Bruder in the 86th and midfielder Lauren Kaskie in the 90th.

- U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U-17 Women’s National Team vs. Korea DPR
Date: Sept. 29, 2012
Competition: 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup; Group B
Venue: Bayil Stadium; Baku, Azerbaijan
Kickoff: 8 a.m. ET (5 p.m. local)
Attendance: 2,500
Weather: 78 degrees, sunny, warm

Scoring Summary:  1 2 F
USA                         1 0 1
PRK                          1 0 1

USA – Darian Jenkins (Amber Munerlyn) 2nd minute
PRK – Ri Un Sim (Jon So Yon)                4

USA: 1-Jane Campbell; 3-Brittany Basinger, 5-Maddie Bauer, 12-Mandy Freeman, 7-Gabbi Miranda; 10-Morgan Andrews (capt.) (9-Lauren Kaskie, 90), 17-Andi Sullivan (16-Morgan Stanton, 82), 11-Toni Payne; 6-Summer Green, 8-Amber Munerlyn (2-Emily Bruder, 86), 21-Darian Jenkins
Subs not used: 4-Joanna Boyles, 13-Lizzy Raben, 14-Morgan Reid, 15-Claire Wagner, 18-Cassie Miller, 19-Margaret Purce, 20-Morgan Stearns
Head Coach: Albertin Montoya

PRK: 18-Rim Yong Hwa; 4-Choe Sol Gyong, 6-Kim Hyang Mi, 12-Jon So Yon, 7-Choe Yun Gyong, 9-Ri Hyang Sim, 15-Choe Chung Bok (capt.), 16-Ri Un Yong, 17-Kim Un Hwa (11-Kim Phyong Hwa, 74), 10-Ri Un Sim, 19-Ri Kyong Hyang (20-Kim So Hyang, 88)
Subs not used: 1-Jang Yong Sim, 2-Kim Un I, 3-Pak Sun Gyong, 5-Kim Hyang Ran, 8-Choe Hyang Mi, 13-Jo Ryon Hwa, 14-Ri Kum Suk, 21-Jong Un Ha
Head Coach: Hwang Yong Bong

Stats Summary: USA / PRK
Shots: 10 / 22
Shots on Goal: 1 / 8
Saves: 7 / 0
Corner Kicks: 1 / 5
Fouls: 11 / 9
Offside: 2 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
PRK – Choe Sol Gyong (caution)  38th minute
PRK – Kim Hyang Mi (caution)     43
PRK – Choe Yun Gyong (caution) 75
USA – Darian Jenkins (caution)    77

Referee: Katalin Kulcsar (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Judit Kulcsar (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Monica Lokkeberg (NOR)
Fourth Official: Carina Vitulano (ITA) Woman of the Match:
Darian Jenkin