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BRADENTON, Fla. (June 12, 2018) – The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team won the 2018 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship with a 3-2 comeback victory against Mexico.
Midfielder Hannah Bebar and forward Sunshine Fontes both equalized for the USA with well-taken goals before midfielder Maya Doms hit the game-winner with a rising shot from the top of the penalty box midway through the second half. Mexico had twice led, first through a penalty kick conversion in the 32nd minute and again on the stroke of halftime when Nayeli Díaz capitalized on a misplayed back-pass that was intended for goalkeeper Angelina Anderson.
Anderson, who earned two shutouts over the course of the competition, made three saves on the night and did well coming off her line to pluck crosses out of the air en route to being named the Golden Glove winner as the tournament’s best goalkeeper. The USA was also recognized with the tournament’s Fair Play award, while Fontes, with five goals, tied for the tournament’s top scorer with Golden Boot and Golden Ball winner Melchie Dumonay of Haiti.
With the victory, the USA claimed its fourth regional title, after also winning in 2008, 2012 and 2016. Canada claimed Concacaf’s third and final World Cup berth with a 2-1 victory against Haiti in the Third-Place Match earlier in the day.
That Third-Place result solidified the Concacaf seeding for the U-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay and thus the placement of the Concacaf teams in their World Cup groups.
When the Final Draw was held on May 30, the Concacaf qualifying tournament was not yet complete, so the three eventual qualifiers from this region were drawn as Concacaf 1, Concacaf 2 and Concacaf 3.
The final seedings were determined by the number of points obtained by the three qualified teams over the past five FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cups, weighted by percentage with descending importance from most recent tournament back to the first U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2008, plus points earned for winning this current qualifying tournament.
Due to that formula, the USA is Concacaf 3 and will play in Group C along with Cameroon, Korea DPR and Germany.
The USA will begin its U-17 Women’s World Cup on Nov. 14 against Cameroon and then will face 2016 U-17 Women’s World Cup champion Korea DPR on Nov. 17 before finishing group play against Germany on Nov. 21.
The USA’s first two games will be played at Estadio Alberto Suppici in Colonia del Sacramento and the Germany match will take place at Estadio Charrúa in the capital of Montevideo. All three venues for the tournament, which also include Estadio Domingo Burgueño Miguel in Maldonado, are on the southwest coast of Uruguay.
Mexico is Concacaf 1 and will play in Group B with South Africa, Brazil and Japan. Canada is Concacaf 2 and will play in Group D with Korea Republic, Spain and Colombia.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
MEX – Dania Pérez (Penalty Kick), 32nd minute: U.S. center back Kennedy Wesley was adjudged to have fouled inside the penalty box as she challenged a Mexico attacker as the two raced to catch up to a through-ball into before it reached the end line. Pérez stepped up to dispatch the resulting PK, shooting to the lower right corner. USA 0, MEX 1
USA – Hannah Bebar (Kennedy Wesley), 34th minute: The USA equalizer came shortly thereafter via a corner kick from Kate Wiesner that was played in low toward the near right post where Wesley got a touch to the ball, sending it across the face of goal. Stationed just in front the Mexico goalkeeper Jaidy Gutiérrez, Bebar helped the ball on its way with a crafty redirection into the left corner. USA 1 MEX 1 [WATCH]
MEX – Nayeli Díaz, 45th minute: Mexico retook the lead after a mix-up in the U.S. defense that saw a back-pass bound for U.S. GK Angelina Anderson roll far too short. Diaz pounced on the loose ball, rounded Anderson who had come out the penalty area to try to tackle with her feet, and deposited her shot into the vacated net. USA 1, MEX 2
USA – Sunshine Fontes (Kate Wiesner), 46th minute: A surging run past multiple defenders saw Wiesner drive the ball from the center of midfield into the heart of the Mexico final third before dishing to Fontes on her left with a perfectly weighted pass. Fontes was able to take her shot in stride, sending the ball across goal from 12 yards out into lower right corner to tie the game again. USA 2, MEX 2 [WATCH]
USA – Maya Doms (Natalia Staude), 76th minute: Another corner kick led to the U.S. winner. As the ball was played into the mixer from the right corner by Wiesner, it came to the feet of Natalia Staude, who smartly picked her head up to find Doms waiting at the top of the penalty box. Staude teed up the winning shot with a quality pass into the stride of Doms, who hit it first time into the roof of the net from 18 yards and then sprinted to the sidelines to celebrate with her entire team and staff. USA 3, MEX 2 [WATCH] FINAL
- The USA was captained by defender Kennedy Wesley, the first time a player has captained the U.S. more than once this tournament. Angelina Anderson was captain vs. Costa Rica, Mia Fishel vs. Bermuda and Kate Wiesner vs. Canada.
- Sunshine Fontes scored her fifth goal of the tournament. She previously scored two in the USA’s 10-1 win vs. Bermuda as well as in the semifinal against Haiti. Her five goals tied her for the tournament’s leading goal scorer with Haiti’s Melchie Dumonay.
- Goalkeeper Angelina Anderson, who recorded shutouts vs. Costa Rica and Canada in group play, was recognized with the tournament’s Golden Glove award.
- The USA won the tournament’s Fair Play award as the team with fewest fouls and best disciplinary record.
- Carr used all three allowed subs in the game, sending on Talia DellaPeruta for the injured Samantha Meza in the 10th minute, but then replacing her in the 75th with Reilyn Turner. Match-winner Maya Doms came on for Mia Fishel in the 59th.
- Carr made what turned out to be a winning half-time adjustment, moving Kate Wiesner up to left wing from defense, allowing her to run at the Mexico defense. Makenna Morris switched over from right back to left back to cover for Wiesner and DellaPeruta dropped to right back.