PUEBLA, Mexico (June 20, 2008) – The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team secured a spot in the semifinals of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying after just two games and took over first place in Group A with a 9-0 victory against Cuba this afternoon at Estadio Cuauhtemoc in Puebla, Mexico. Forward Kelley O’Hara scored three goals, while Michelle Enyeart and Nikki Washington each tallied twice to lead the U.S. to their second straight victory.
The U.S. dominated the over-match Cubans, who were unable to get a single shot off during the game. The U.S. on the other hand peppered the Cuban goal with an astounding 40 shots, exactly half of those on target.
Alex Morgan, who started off the scoring with a strike in just the second minute, earned her first goal of the tournament, along with Becky Edwards as the U.S. never looked back. With her two second-half goals, Enyeart increased her tournament total to five, while O’Hara’s hat trick gives her a total of four through two games.
The U.S. will play for the group title on Sunday, June 22, at 2:30 p.m. CT when they face Mexico, who also won their first two games, including a 3-0 win against Trinidad & Tobago in second match this afternoon. Tied with six points each, the U.S. sits in first place with a better goal differential (+13 to +10). Mexico has also secured their place in the semifinals, which will be played on Wednesday, June 25. The U.S. and Mexico will face either Canada or Costa Rica, the top two teams in Group B.
“Cuba has a young team and I thought they played with a lot of heart today,” said U.S. head coach Tony DiCicco. “I was very pleased with the USA and how we played today, but we have a long way to go. Our next game, playing Mexico here in Puebla, is going to be very difficult. They have a talented team, so we just need recover from this game and prepare to play again in two days.”
The U.S. never looked back after Morgan put them up early on a goal that started when left back Meghan Klingenberg stepped up to win the ball and played a through ball for Washington. Washington slotted the ball across the goal mouth where it was deflected by a defender and Morgan was able to pounce on it to hammer it home.
The U.S. didn’t find the back of the net for more than a third of the game later, but Washington put away two in 11 minutes to give virtually put the game out of reach by halftime. Her first came in the 33rd minute when Edwards flicked a ball on from the near post after a throw-in towards Washington and she was able to power through her defender and finish from inside the penalty area. Washington’s second goal started with Enyeart, who entered the game as a substitute minutes earlier, won a ball in the midfield and played it through for O’Hara. With just the goalkeeper to beat, O’Hara saw Washington alone at the far post and touched it over for her to finish into an open net.
Seconds after the halftime whistle, O’Hara notched her first of the night. Enyeart played a ball into the box from the left wing that snuck past an outstretched Washington but right to the feet of O’Hara, who only had to touch it into the goal from close range. Her second came in the 54th minute when she flicked on a punt from goalkeeper Kristin Arnold to Enyeart. She continued her run, got the ball back from Enyeart and knocked it into the goal from a tough angle.
Sydney Leroux came on in the 59th minute and tallied an assist seconds later. She got into the box on a through ball, saw Enyeart across the goal and played it right to her feet. Enyeart tapped it in to score her first goal of the night. Her second goal came seven minutes later after a long U.S. buildup. Christine Nairn had time in the midfield to play a ball down the wing for O’Hara. The winger caught up with the ball on a full sprint and played a hard cross for Enyeart, who stretched out to get it over the line and put the Americans up 7-0.
In the 72nd minute, Edwards, who worked tirelessly all afternoon in central midfield, received the ball, turned and ripped a shot that went into the upper corner of the goal from 30 yards out. O’Hara closed out the scoring in the 80th minute after midfielder Ingrid Wells made a cheeky turn on her defender and found O’Hara making a run. O’Hara beat her lone defender and fired a shot past Cuban goalkeeper Lucileno Martinez to make the final score 9-0.
U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team Game Report
Participants: U.S. Under-20 WNT vs. Cuba
Competition: CONCACAF Under-20 Women's World Cup Qualifying
Location: Estadio Cuauhtemoc - Pueblo, Mexico
Date: June 20, 2008
Weather: Warm, Sunny
1 2 F
USA 3 6 9
CUB 0 0 0
USA – Alex Morgan (Nikki Washington) 2nd minute
USA – Nikki Washington (Becky Edwards) 33.
USA – Nikki Washington (Kelley O’Hara) 42.
USA – Kelly O’Hara (Michelle Enyeart) 46.
USA – Kelly O’Hara (Nikki Washington) 54.
USA – Michelle Enyeart (Sidney Leroux) 59.
USA – Michelle Enyeart (Kelley O’Hara) 66.
USA – Becky Edwards (unassisted) 72.
USA – Kelley O’Hara (Ingrid Wells) 80.
USA: 18-Kristin Arnold; 19-Kiersten Dallstream (22-Sydney Leroux, 59), 8-Kaley Fountain, 4-Nikki Marshall, 3-Meghan Klingenberg; 25-Becky Edwards, 21-Ingrid Wells, 9-Gina DiMartino (11-Christine Nairn, 46); 17-Alex Morgan (13-Michelle Enyeart, 37), 10-Kelley O’Hara, 7-Nikki Washington
Subs not used: 1-Alyssa Naeher, 5-Keelin Winters, 14-Jessica McDonald, 15-Casey Nogueira
Not available: Lauren Fowlkes, Elli Reed
Head Coach: Tony DiCicco
CUB: 12-Lucileno Martinez; 3-Leodana Beyerano, 4-Yamara Lopez, 6-Jessica Popo Alvarez, 10-Yareni Kareilia Fuentes (14-Leidy Carp, 69); 15-Yeanna Valdes (13-Olga Lidia Blanco, 90), 14-Leidy Carp, 9-Yudisleivi Felio Hernandez, (7-Yamisleidy Bernal Chacon, 46), 18-Yudisleivi Reyes, 20-Yisel Rodriguez; 8-Yesenia Gallardo
Subs Not Used: 5-Yadira Rodriguez, 15-Yeanna Valdes, 10-Yareni Karelia Fuentes, 1-Katherine Monesino, 11-Rachel Pelaez
Head Coach: Rufino Sotolongo
Shots on Goal 20/0
Corner Kicks 12/0
CUB - Yeanna Valdes (caution) 56th minute
Sierra Mist Woman of the Match: Kelley O'Hara
CONCACAF U-20 Qualifying
Group A Standings
Team W L T Pts. GF GA GD
USA 2 0 0 6 13 0 +13
MEX 2 0 0 6 10 0 +10
TRI 0 2 0 0 0 7 -7
CUB 0 2 0 0 0 16 -16
June 18, 2008
USA 4, Trinidad & Tobago 0
Mexico 7, Cuba 0
June 18, 2008
USA 9, Cuba 0
Mexico Trinidad & Tobago
June 20, 2008
Cuba vs. Trinidad & Tobago 12 p.m.
USA vs. Mexico 2:30 p.m.
Group B Standings
Team W L T Pts. GF GA GD
CAN 2 0 0 6 5 1 +4
CRC 2 0 0 6 6 3 +3
NIC 0 2 0 0 2 5 -3
JAM 0 2 0 0 2 6 -4
June 17, 2008
Canada 2, Nicaragua 0
Costa Rica 3, Jamaica 1
June 19, 2008
Canada 3. Jamaica 1
Costa Rica 3 Nicaragua 2
June 21, 2008
Jamaica vs. Nicaragua 12 p.m.
Canada vs. Costa Rica 2:30 p.m.