SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras (Dec. 11, 2015) – The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team qualified for the 2016 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup after defeating Honduras 7-0 in the semifinal of the CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship.
The U-20 WNT will face Canada for the tournament title on Sunday, Dec. 13 (7 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 2). Canada defeated Mexico 5-4 on penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw in the other semifinal. The wins earned the USA and Canada automatic berths to the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, which be held from Nov. 13-Dec. 3 in Papua New Guinea. The winner of the third-place match between Mexico and Honduras will also qualify.
The USA dominated the first half and put ample pressure on the Honduras defense. The young Americans finally got on the board in the 33rd minute as Jessie Scarpa kept the ball out wide and waited for runs into the box. She crossed the ball through the penalty box to an open Ashley Sanchez, who controlled the ball with her first touch. Sanchez faked out her defender, darted free and smashed her shot past Honduras goalkeeper Madelinne Nieto inside the near post.
Two minutes later Savannah DeMelo set up for a corner kick and passed it short to Sanchez. Sanchez tapped the ball back to DeMelo, who sent it straight into the box. Mallory Pugh timed her run to meet the ball with her right foot, sending it past Nieto for the 2-0 lead.
The U.S took total control in the 38th minute. Pugh dribbled the ball up the center of the field and sent a pass over the heads of two Honduras defenders to Sanchez, who timed her run perfectly and calmly collected with her right foot. Sanchez wasted no time with a quick left-footed strike that found the right side of the net.
The second half brought more success for USA. In the 61st minute, Ella Stevens slid a perfect through ball to the sprinting Pugh who outran her defender into the right side of the box and rolled her 17-yard shot just inside the far post.
Seven minutes later Sanchez fought hard to get around her defender on the right side and crossed on the ground to Scarpa, who was wide open and had a simple finish from close range.
In the 88th minute, USA struck again as Shannon Horgan created space out wide after receiving a well-placed pass from Sanchez. Horgan sent a high cross that found the head of Marley Canales who jumped bravely over the Honduras defense to send a powerful header into the upper right corner for her first goal of the tournament.
In stoppage time, the U.S. got their seventh goal as Cherry Velasquez headed the ball into her own net while trying to clear a cross from DeMelo.
- Mallory Pugh leads the race for the tournament Golden Boot award with seven goals. Teammate Jessie Scarpa is just behind with five.
- Making just one save to record back-to-back clean sheets, U.S. goalkeeper Rose Chandler earned her second shutout of the tournament.
- U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team vs Honduras
Date: Dec.11, 2015
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship – Semifinal
Venue: Estadio Francisco Morazan; San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Weather: 79 degrees; Rainy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 3 4 7
HON 0 0 0
USA – Ashley Sanchez (Jessie Scarpa) 33rd minute
USA – Mallory Pugh (Savannah DeMelo) 35
USA – Ashley Sanchez (Mallory Pugh) 38
USA – Mallory Pugh (Ella Stevens) 61
USA – Jessie Scarpa (Ashley Sanchez) 68
USA – Marley Canales (Shannon Horgan) 88
USA – Cherry Velásquez Bennett (own goal) 90+6
USA: 1-Rose Chandler; 5-Tierna Davidson, 14-Taylor Otto, 2-Natalie Jacobs, 16-Emily Fox (19-Shannon Horgan, 46); 6-Savannah DeMelo, 8-Ella Stevens, 3-Mikaela Harvey, 10-Mallory Pugh (capt.) (7-Marley Canales, 71); 13-Ashley Sanchez, 15-Jessie Scarpa (20-Zoe Redei, 72)
Subs not used: 4-Sabrina Flores, 9-Jordan Harr, 11-Kelcie Hedge, 12-Kiara Pickett, 17-Parker Roberts, 18-Brooke Heinsohn
Head coach: Michelle French
HON: 1-Madelinne Nieto Matamoros (15-Shirley Vásquez Laínez, 66); 2-Mirian Martínez Ordóñez, 3-Dania Reyes Hernández, 4-Ana Valladares, Carbajal (13-Jinan Abdalah Funes, 32), 17-Lisbeth Bonilla Murillo; 8-Cherry Velásquez Bennett, 7-Katherine Amador Mendoza, 18-Fátima Romero Baca, 10-Elexa Barh; 14-Emely Quiroz Zepeda (12-Katherine Mejía Flores, 49), 20-Gabriela Ponce
Subs not used: 5-Alisson Hernández Bardales, 11-Suzana Coello Argueta, 16-Ericka Estrada Batres, 6-Victoria Rivera, 9-Kendra Haylock Haylock, 19-Yadira Perdomo
Head coach: Miguel Escalante
Stats Summary: USA / HON
Shots: 22 / 1
Shots on Goal: 8 / 1
Saves: 1 / 2
Corner Kicks: 6 / 0
Fouls: 11 / 5
Offside: 0 / 1
USA-Ella Stevens (caution) 93rd minute
Referee: Marianela Araya (CRC)
Asst. Referee 1:
Asst. Referee 2:
ussoccer.com Woman of the Match: Ashley Sanchez