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U.S. U-17 WNT Falls in Penalty Kicks to Canada in Semifinal of CONCACAF U-17 Women's Championship

  • Match Tied 0-0 After Regulation and Overtime
  • USA Fails to Qualify for 2010 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

ALAJUELA, Costa Rica (March 18, 2010) – A nightmare scenario evolved and came to fruition for the U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team as it could not find a way to score on Canada during regulation and overtime, eventually succumbing in a penalty kick shootout during the semifinal match of the CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship. The loss eliminated the USA from participating in the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

As CONCACAF member Trinidad & Tobago will host the next U-17 Women’s World Cup in September, just two World Cup berths instead of the usual three were available at this tournament, both going to the winners of the semifinals.

The 120 minutes were played with the USA as the aggressor while Canada dropped seven players back into defense and attempted to counter-attack through long balls to its forwards. The offensive strategy proved tame, but the defending from the Canadians was inspired. The young Americans were just not quite sharp enough on their final passes and finishing to close out the game.

Canada played an excellent tactical match, clogging the center of the field, man-marking U.S. playmaker Morgan Brian and forcing the young Americans to try to find a way around or though them. That task was made extremely difficult by the Canadians, who gave the Americans little space to attack in the final third.

The USA almost broke the game open in just the eighth minute as forward Taylor Smith got behind the Canada defense after a blocked goalkeeper clearance. She turned the corner toward goal, but couldn’t find a U.S. player in the seam and the ball was cleared for a corner kick after a scramble.

While the USA dominated possession, it was actually Canada who had the better chances in the first half, all coming off counter attacks, set plays and several giveaways in the back by the Americans.

Canadian forward Nour Ghoneim had the best chance of the first 15 minutes, hitting a low shot from 22 yards that forced a diving save from U.S. goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin.

Herberlin, who played a great match in goal for the USA, had to come up big in the 18th minute, coming quickly off her line to swipe a ball off the feet of Ghoneim in the left corner of the penalty area.

A giveaway by the USA led to another Canada chance as Haillie Price got a swing at a bouncing ball inside the six-yard box. Heaberlin got a piece of it, deflecting it off the crossbar, before she jumped on the loose ball.

In the 34th minute Smith raced in on a breakaway, but with two defenders in tow, the ball rolled just a bit too far ahead of her and Canadian goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo was able to smother at her feet. D’Angelo played an excellent match in the net for Canada, saving all seven U.S. shots on goal.

The USA could have gone ahead in the final minute of the first half after Brian played a nice give-and-go with Smith deep into the penalty area, but she couldn’t get a good strike on the ball from close range and D’Angelo reached back to save the rolling ball on the goal line.

Canada managed just one shot during the final 75 minutes of the match while the USA had ample opportunities to win the game. In the 65th minute a Brian header off a cross from Jaelene Hinkle went wide right even though D’Angelo was caught off her line.

Canada had a shot in the 81st minute and Heaberlin came up with what was at the time, a game-saving stop. She came out to stuff the one-on-one chance before the USA cleared away for a corner kick.

In the 89th minute, Smith had a golden chance on a free header from about eight yards out, but sent her chance high over the goal. Perhaps the USA’s best opportunity for a winner came just three minutes into the first overtime period as Smith got behind Canada’s defense on a breakaway, but shot right at D’Angelo who smothered.

Canada did a fine job of whittling the remaining minutes of the match to send the game to penalties and then executed its kicks well.

Canada shot first and Alison Clarke sent Heaberlin the wrong way to bury Canada’s first chance. Brian answered with an excellent strike into the left corner followed by Diamond Simpson, who powered her shot into the lower left corner. Abby Dahlkemper tied it at 2-2 with a well taken kick into the lower right side.

Heaberlin then had a chance to change the match, getting a nice piece of a poorly struck shot by Yazmin Ongtengco, but the ball amazingly spun over her body and rolled over the goal line. That proved to be a crusher for the USA as Clarissa Wedemeyer then hit her shot over the crossbar.

Nicole Setterlund roofed her spot kick, but U.S. substitute Havana Solaun coolly converted to keep the U.S. in the game. Still, Chantal Campbell just had to make her team’s fifth and final kick, and she did, sending Heaberlin the wrong way as she stroked a perfect shot into the right side of the net.

The USA’s tournament started with tears, for the Haitian team that USA faced in their first match, and also ended in tears as well, with the distraught American players barely consolable as they left the field. The USA will still play in the third-place match against either Mexico or Costa Rica on Saturday, March 20 at 6 p.m. ET, but their World Cup dreams are over, thus marking the first time a U.S. team has failed to qualify for a FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament.

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

Match: U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team vs. Canada
Date: March 18, 2010
Competition: 2010 CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship; Semifinal
Venue: Alejandro Morera Soto Stadium; Alajuela, Costa Rica
Kickoff: 4 p.m. local (6 p.m. ET)
Attendance: 250
Weather: 65 degrees; cool, breezy

Scoring Summary: 1   2  1OT 2OT PK   F
USA                        0   0    0      0     3    0
CAN                        0   0    0      0     5    0

Penalty Summary:
CAN: Clarke (goal), Simpson (goal), Ongtengco (goal), Setturlund (goal), Campbell (goal)
USA: Brian (goal), Dahlkemper (goal), Wedemeyer (high), Solaun (goal)

USA: 1-Bryane Heaberlin; 6-Olivia Brannon, 3-Abby Dahlkemper (Capt.), 2-Jaelene Hinkle; 5-Kaili Torres (16-Cari Roccaro, 87), 11-Clarissa Wedemeyer, 10-Morgan Brian, 8-Kaysie Clark, 7-Alex Doll; 12-Taylor Smith (25-Ashley Spivey, 111), 13-Lindsey Horan (9-Havana Solaun, 84)
Subs not used: 4-Laura Liedle, 14-Cassie Pecht, 15-Isabel Farrell, 18-Abby Smith
Not Eligible: 19-Jennifer Gonzalez, 24-Caroline Stanley
Head Coach: Kazbek Tambi

CAN: 18-Sabrina D’Angelo; 5-Haillie Price (19-Abigail Raymer, 53), 6-Yazmin Ongtengco, 11-Alison Clarke, 17-Alexandra Courtnall (3-Sabrina Hemond, 87); 4-Chantal Campbell, 12-Nicole Sutterlund (Capt.), 13-Kinley McNicoll; 8-Diamond Simpson, 10-Nour Ghoneim, 16-Haisha Cantave (9-Caroline Beaulne, 53)
Subs not used: 1-Rachel Beanlands, 7-Kylie Davis, 15-Shannen Jainudeen, 20-Zakia McIntosh
Not Eligible: 2-Sophie Therien, 14-Katherine Caverly,
Head coach: Bryan Rosenfield

Statistical Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 13 / 6
Shots on Goal: 7 / 4
Saves: 4 / 7
Corner Kicks: 5 / 3
Fouls: 10 / 10
Offside: 4 / 0

Misconduct Summary:

Referee: Shane DeSilva (TRI)
Asst. Referee: Cindy Mohammed (TRI)
Asst. Referee: Flor Escobar (JAM)
Fourth Official: Caradella Samuels (JAM) Woman of the Match:
Bryane Heaberlin