Becky Edwards scored the game-winner in the 11th minute and Alex Morgan added a pair of second half goals, her second and third in two games, for the 3-0 final. The U.S. now has six points and with their 2-0 win over China, France is currently second in the group with three while China and Argentina each have one point.
Three players earned their first start of the tournament against Argentina as Christine Nairn, Elli Reed and Sydney Leroux all got the nod from U.S. head coach Tony DiCicco. All three players picked up assists in the match and, for Leroux, it was her second assist and sixth point in two games.
“I think Argentina was a very difficult team to play,” said DiCicco after the match. “Coach Kawakami had his team very organized defensively and we had a lot of trouble winning balls in the midfield. Argentina is such a rich football country. It is wonderful to see their women’s program developing.”
The U.S. attacked from the opening whistle, as Nairn nearly connected with Edwards in just the fifth minute. Nairn chipped a ball into the box as Edwards got behind the defense, but Argentine goalkeeper Guadalupe Calello knocked the ball down and then pounced on the rebound.
In the 11th minute, the U.S. earned a thrown in deep in their attacking end. Morgan took the long throw and it was played back to her. She drove in a low cross to Leroux, who laid the ball off for an on-rushing Edwards and the Florida State midfielder did the rest. Wearing the captain’s armband, Edwards struck a one-time shot that hit just inside the far post to put the U.S. on the board.
Throughout the first half, Argentina took several shots, but only one was on goal as Florencia Jaimes and Maria Potassa could not find success from long range. Argentina’s best chance in the first stanza came in the 28th minute when defender Gabriela Chavez lofted a ball into the box for Jaimes, but Alyssa Naeher did well to come off her line and intercept just before Jaimes could get to the ball.
Late in the half, Leroux took two consecutive shots that came close to doubling the USA’s lead. Nikki Washington set up the first shot when she played a great pass across the box for an on-rushing Leroux, who beat her defender to the ball only to see her shot go over the crossbar. Seconds later, the U.S. won a short goal kick and Nairn played Leroux in the box. This time Leroux took a touch and tried to place the ball into the far corner, but her shot went just wide.
Rejuvenated after the break, the U.S. doubled its lead in the 53rd minute. Meghan Klingenberg played a free kick square across the field to Reed on the right wing and she lifted her ball across the box to Morgan. Virtually alone just inside the box, Morgan brought the ball down and calmly tapped the ball past Calello with the outside of her left foot.
Less than two minutes later, Ingrid Wells was chasing down a loose ball in the box when she was chopped down by Calello. The referee immediately pointed to the spot and Edwards stepped up looking for her second of the day, but her kick from the spot went wide.
Both teams created chances as the game wore on, with Argentina’s best coming early in the second half.
Vanesa Santana hit a long-range blast on target, but Naeher calmly reached up to tip it over the bar. Minutes later, a dangerous ball in the box bounced over to Potassa, who hit a half volley hard and on target from close range, but Naeher was able to react and once again tip the ball over the crossbar.
That would be as close as Argentina would get against the U.S., who added an insurance goal in the 90th minute to seal the game at 3-0. A long ball from near midfield got over Argentina’s defensive line and Morgan was again in alone on Calello. This time the Argentine ‘keeper got off her line quickly, but the composed Morgan touched it by her and into the open net.
Match: U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team vs. Argentina
Date: Nov. 22, 2008
Competition: FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup – Group B
Venue: Estadio Nelson Oryuzan; Chillan, Chile
Kickoff: 12 p.m. / 10 a.m. ET
Weather: 80 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 2 3
ARG 0 0 0
USA – Becky Edwards (Sydney Leroux) 10th minute
USA – Alex Morgan (Elli Reed) 53
USA – Alex Morgan (Sydney Leroux) 90
USA: 1-Alyssa Naher; 6-Elli Reed, 15-Lauren Fowlkes, 17-Nikki Marshall, 3-Meghan Klingenberg; 8-Becky Edwards (capt.), 11-Christine Nairn, 12-Ingrid Wells (14-Keelin Winters, 56); 19-Sydney Leroux, 13-Alex Morgan (9-Gina DiMartino, 90+), 16-Nikki Washington (10-Michelle Enyeart, 56)
Subs not used: 2-Kaley Fountain, 4-Liz Harkin, 5-Kierstan Dallstream, 7-Alyssa Mautz, 18-Chantel Jones, 21-Chantel Jones
Head Coach: Tony DiCicco
ARG: 1-Guadalupe Callelo; 2-Gabriela Chavez, 3-Noelia Espindola, 4-Yanina Hernandez (9-Joanna Bracamonte 57), 5-Emilia Mendieta, 7-Victoria Bedini (19-Mariana Larroquette, 81), 8-Florencia Jaimes, 10-Maria Potassa, 11-Florencia Mandrile (capt.), 14-Virginia Gomez (17-Florencia Ferrero, 86), 15-Vanesa Santana
Subs not used: 6-Daiana Cardone, 12-Carolina Velek, 13-Andrea Lopez, 16-Gabriela Lopez, 18-Carina Nunez, 20-Maria Penalva, 21-Brenda Reyes
Head Coach: Yasushi Kawakami
Stats Summary: USA / ARG
Shots: 15 / 12
Shots on Goal: 9 / 3
Saves: 3 / 6
Corner Kicks: 3 / 3
Fouls: 11 / 20
Offside: 1 / 0
ARG – Gabriela Chavez (caution) 24th minute
ARG – Guadalupe Calello (caution) 54
USA – Becky Edwards (caution) 75
USA – Meghan Klingenberg (caution) 79
ARG – Vanesa Santana (caution) 87
ARG – Joanna Bracamonte (caution) 90
Referee: Cristina Ionescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Cristina Cini (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Helen Caro (SWE)
Fourth Official: Tanja Schett (AUT)
Sierra Mist Woman of the Match: