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U.S. U-17 Women Draw 2-2 with Japan in Friendly at The Home Depot Center

  • Second Half Goals from Substitutes Emily Bruder and Morgen Reid Earn Tie
  • Miki Hirata Scores Twice on Free Kicks at End of First Half
  • Teams will Meet Against at The Home Depot Center on Sunday, Aug. 28 at 4 p.m. PT

CARSON, Calif. (Aug. 25, 2011) – In a meeting between the youth sides of the two countries that met in the championship match of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer, the U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team came back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw in an international friendly against Japan at The Home Depot Center.

Second half goals scored 10 minutes apart by substitutes Emily Bruder and Morgan Reid pulled the young Americans even after two phenomenal and nearly identical free-kick goals from Miki Hirata had posted the Japanese to a 2-0 halftime lead.

“It was a tale of two halves to tell the truth,” said U.S. head coach Albertin Montoya. “We’ve done this a couple times now, against the U.S. U-20s and now Japan. We come out slow and trying not to make mistakes and that’s the complete opposite of what we want them to do. That said, I was extremely satisfied with the second half. We showed great character getting two goals against a very good Japanese team.”

The USA had the most of the early chances as Andi Sullivan collected a poor clearance from Japanese goalkeeper Nene Inoue in the 4th minute, but shot wide right from top of the box.

Forward Amber Munerlyn had two looks at goal, shooting over the top in the 14th minute off low cross from Summer Green on the right wing and then struck a firm volley off a deflected corner kick that forced a diving save from Inoue.

Japan’s best chance came of the first half came in the 20th minute as the U.S. watched a shot slam off the crossbar from the top of the penalty area that just evaded the top hand of flying U.S. goalkeeper Jane Campbell.

Japan scored its two goals in a five-minute span right at the end of the half. In the 42nd minute Hirata drove a spinning free-kick into the upper right corner from 28 yards and although Campbell got a hand on it, she couldn’t turn it away.

In the first minute of stoppage time, Hirata did it again, albeit from a few yards closer just outside the U.S. penalty area. The result was the same as she stuck her kick into the upper right corner past the fully-extended Campbell.

After sluggish and tentative performance in the first half, Montoya – who was coaching in his first full international match for the USA – sent on three subs in Lauren Kaskie, Bruder and Reid. All three helped spark the Americans to a much better and more energetic second half and just over 15 minutes later the game was tied.

Bruder pulled the first one back as she stole the ball from a Japanese central defender, raced in on goal and powered home a low shot into the left corner from 15 yards out.

After firing high in the 55th minute when she took a short corner kick and dribbled into the middle, Green got another chance while working the ball across the top of the penalty area in the 61st. This time her shot was on frame, but Inoue couldn’t hold the blast. Reid pounced on the rebound to blast her shot high into the right corner from close range.

“We told our players at halftime to make sure we went at them,” said Montoya. “We were playing too conservative, playing in front of them and we were never a threat to get behind. In the second half things changed quickly. We put in a few forwards and attacking midfielders and started stretching them out. That opened the game and allowed us to play through the midfield and in behind.”

There were some anxious moments for the USA towards the end of the match. Lizzy Raben’s goal-saving tackle inside the penalty area denied Japan a good scoring chance and then Campbell stepped up to preserve the tie.

In the 87th minute she flew to palm away a drive from Yuka Momiki that was headed for the upper right corner and in the third minute of stoppage time she firmly held a spinning shot from Rin Sumida that had eyes for the same spot.

In between those two chances, Miwa Saskai got behind the U.S defense, but lofted her shot over the on-rushing Campbell and also over the goal. Sumida also got around the U.S. back line on the left side in the final moments of regulation and dribbled right at the left post. With Campbell in good position, she smacked her angled shot outside the goal into the side-netting.

“I told our players that if we played anywhere near our potential, if we just played with more energy, that we could create all kinds of problems and get at least two goals,” said Montoya. “We did just that in the second half and we didn’t see any of that in the first half. Immediately in that second half we started applying pressure all over the field and they had a lot less time on the ball and that made a big difference. I give credit to the players for believing in themselves and getting two goals back.”

The U.S. U-17s are in training for the CONCACAF qualifying tournament that will send three teams to the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup to be held from Sept. 22-Oct. 13 in Azerbaijan.

The two squads will meet again on Sunday, Aug. 28, at 4 p.m. PT at The Home Depot Center.

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

Match: U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team vs. Japan U-17 Women’s National Team
Date: Aug. 25, 2011
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: David Vanole Field; The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.
Kickoff: 6 p.m. Local
Weather: Sunny, hot – 80 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F

USA 0 2 2
JPN 2 0 2

JPN – Miki Hirata 43rd minute
JPN – Miki Hirata 45+1
USA – Emily Bruder 51
USA – Morgan Reid (Summer Green) 61

USA: 1-Jane Campbell; 5-Maddie Bauer (14-Morgan Reid, 46); 3-Lizzy Raben, 4-Morgan Andrews, 2-Gabbi Miranda; 10-Toni Payne (16-Darian Jenkins, 66), 6-Joanna Boyles (12-Lauren Kaskie, 46), 7-Morgan Stanton, 8-Andi Sullivan (15-Miranda Freeman, 75), 11-Summer Green (17-Cameron Castleberry, 73); 9-Amber Munerlyn (13-Emily Bruder, 46)
Subs not used: 18-Cassie Miller, 19-Danica Evans, 20-Olivia Hazelrigg, 21-Kayla Mills, 22-Zoey Goralsk, 23-Havana McElvaine, 24-Morgan Stearns, 25-Arielle Ship
Head Coach: Albertin Montoya

JPN: 1-Nene Inoue; 4-Yuri Nagamachi (15-Miho Manya, 63), 5-Shiori Miyake, 13-Mayo Dokou, 22-Arisa Matsubara (2-Risa Shimizu, 46); 9-Rin Sumida, 14-Yui Narumiya (capt.), 17-Miki Hirata, 20-Ayaka Inoue (18-Yuka Momiki, 46), 11-Yuka Toriumi (10-Ayaka Noguchi, 46), 19-Rika Masuya (23-Miwa Sasaki, 46)
Subs not used: 3-Akari Shiraki, 6-Mizuki Nakamura, 7-Ruka Norimatsu, 8-Miki Irie, 12-Chika Hirao, 16-Miki Ito, 21-Miyu Someya
Head Coach: Hiroshi Yoshida

Statistical Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 10 / 12
Shots on Goal: 5 / 7
Saves: 5 / 3
Corner Kicks: 3 / 7
Fouls: 8 / 5
Offside: 3 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Morgan Stanton (caution) 46+
JPN – Miki Hirata (caution) 58

Referee: Shahram Danbeli (USA)
Assistant Referee: Milan Brych (USA)

Assistant Referee: Richard Hernande (USA)
Fourth Official: Jesse Yzaguirre (USA) Woman of the Match:
Emily Bruder