BANGKOK, Thailand (November 27, 2004) - The U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team rebounded marvelously from a crushing loss to Germany in the semifinal to record an impressive 3-0 victory over a talented Brazilian team and earn third place at the FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship 2004.
The Third-Place Match will be broadcast tape-delayed on Fox Sports World on Dec. 3 at 5 p.m. ET (and repeated Dec. 8 at 11 p.m. ET). The USA's semifinal loss to Germany will be broadcast on Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. ET (and repeated Dec. 7 at 11 p.m. ET).
Counting this competition in Thailand, FIFA has held nine world championships for women, four Women's World Cups, three Olympic tournaments and two U-19 World Championships. U.S. Women's National Teams have won five of those nine (two Women's World Cups, two Olympic gold medals and the first U-19 title) and with the win over Brazil today, remain the only program in the world to finish in the top three in all nine tournaments.
Germany cruised past China, 2-0, to win the championship in the second match of the evening, meaning that in all four of the FIFA competitions the U.S. team has not won, they have lost to the eventual champion.
The U.S. team will not leave Thailand without some hardware, as the team received bronze medals and individual Fair Play medals to go along with the FIFA Fair Play Trophy. In addition, midfielder Angie Woznuk received the Silver Ball as the second Most Outstanding Player in the tournament and the Bronze Shoe as the competition's third leading scorer.
In front of 23,000 fans at Rajamangala Stadium, the USA got first-half goals off a free kick from Kerri Hanks and wonderfully struck shot by Megan Rapinoe in the first half. Woznuk sealed the match with a drive from distance in the 72nd minute. Even more impressive, the USA's smothering team defense earned a shutout over a Brazilian side that featured two forwards - Marta and Cristiane -- from its 2004 Olympic silver medal team in Greece. U.S. goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris had a stellar night, making eight saves, including snuffing out breakaways off the feet of Cristiane and Marta, who won the Golden Ball as the tournament's most Outstanding Player.
Woznuk, the USA's attacking midfielder, returned to the form she showed in the first two matches, darting and weaving in and out of the maze of players in the middle of the field, sealing her status as one of the best players in the competition. She even gave the Brazilians a taste of their own medicine, pulling off a nutmeg early on as the Americans earned three corner kicks in the first four minutes. In fact, Brazil almost went down a goal just a minute into the match as a defender back-headed a U.S. free kick just wide of her own goal.
U.S. head coach Mark Krikorian made several changes to his lineup from previous matches, going with a 4-5-1 formation, inserting Kerri Hanks as an attacking midfielder along with Woznuk, giving Jen Redmond a run down the right flank and playing Rapinoe on the left side of midfield. Amy Rodriguez was the USA's lone forward in the match and did some amazing work for the USA up top. Krikorian also inserted Nikki Krzysik at center back in her first start and moved Rachel Buehler wide right in an attempt to slow Cristiane and Marta, both of whom enjoy coming down the left.
The U.S. team stuck to its defensive game play throughout the match, limiting the space of the crafty Brazilians while covering for each other if a U.S. defender was beaten, which happened more than a few times as Marta, Cristiane and Co. pulled off their magical dribbles.
It was the USA who dominated the first half though, taking the game to Brazil with great possession and a much better attacking rhythm than they showed against Germany.
The USA scored both its first half goals in a seven-minute span, the first coming in the 21st minute after Hanks, who made just her second start of the tournament, was tugged down at the top of the penalty area while running under a long free kick from midfield. Hanks herself stepped up to take the kick, spinning it through the porous Brazilian defensive wall and into the lower left corner from 21 yards out. It was the 22nd and final international goal at the U-19 level for Hanks, a veteran of the USA's 2002 world championship side, who ends her U-19 career as one of the top scorer in the program's history.
The second goal came in the 27th minute as the U.S. took a corner kick short from the left side. Rapinoe played a quick pass to Woznuk then ran around her to the inside. Woznuk dribbled at the lone Brazilian defender, then pushed the ball back into the path of Rapinoe. She took a touch into the corner of the penalty area and bent a spectacular shot into the upper right corner, sticking the ball in the side netting past Brazilian goalkeeper Thais.
In the 36th minute, the USA had a golden chance to up the lead off an excellent counter after some quick possession in midfield sprung Rapinoe down left flank. She sent a great early ball spinning into middle that Rodriguez won as she popped it over a defender, but somehow the U.S. forward sent her point blank shot wide left of the goal from seven yards out.
Brazil's first shot didn't come until the 31st minute and it was a slow roller to Harris, but the South Americans picked up the pace thereafter and had several dangerous chances before the end of the half.
Marta slalomed through the USA players on a great dribbling run in 33rd, but despite cutting the ball at least a half dozen times, she could not find her way through three U.S. defenders. It would become a theme for the night.
In 40th minute, Marta somehow darted through almost the entire U.S. defense with a dribble down the left wing, cut back across the goal and played a square pass for Sandra, but she struck her open look at goal wide right. In the 42nd minute, Cristiane popped loose on a breakaway, but could only get a toe on
the ball before Harris came sliding out to block the shot with her body, giving up a corner kick. Harris also smothered a dangerous cross from Cristiane just before halftime.
Brazil had four yellow cards in the match and three cautions in the first half alone, the last of which saw Tatiana fortunate to stay on the field after brutally hacking Rapinoe from behind in the 44th minute.
Brazil picked up its game in the second half as the U.S. team settled back defensively a bit and in the 52nd minute, Marta finally got free behind the U.S. defense. She was bravely challenged by Harris, who beat her to the ball by a half-second, inciting a spectacular collision in the penalty area before the bouncing ball was cleared by the U.S. defense. Marta had to leave the field to receive medical treatment.
Brazil had several dangerous corner kicks in the second half, but for the most part, the U.S. defense and Harris were first to everything. The USA did give the ball away in back in 61st minute, but Cristiane couldn't take advantage, firing her shot high from 18 yards out.
A minute later, it was the U.S. on the counter-attack, as Rodriguez blazed into the left side of the penalty box, but her dangerous cross was cleared away. In the 71st minute, a long U.S. free kick was floated into the penalty box and Rodriguez somehow managed to gain control in a mass of Brazilian players before slipping the ball back to substitute Alexa Orand, but the 17-year-old cut her shot wide left. Rodriguez had two late chances to add to her tournament goal total of two, but couldn't chip over Thais in the 83rd minute and then scuffed a great chance wide left just seconds later.
The USA's clinching goal, which came on the first of two shots on goal in the second half, originated when the Americans earned a turnover deep in the Brazilian half. Orand quickly played Woznuk who dribbled down the middle, saw the 'keeper off her line and smacked a brilliant 35-yard bending shot over Thais
into the upper right corner. It was Woznuk's third goal of the tournament.
Brazil had a few attacking spurts after that, firing some hard shots from distance that pulled diving saves from Harris, but their hearts didn't seem in it and as the Americans were dead set on earning a shutout. With little space on the U.S. back line in which to work, Marta dropped into midfield late in the game, but the Brazilian star became increasingly frustrated as the Americans whittled away the final minutes.
Midfielder Stephanie Kron got to play the final five minutes plus stoppage time for the USA, coming on for Orand, and became the 18th field player to see action in the tournament meaning that Krikorian used every player on his roster except back-up goalkeepers Kelsey Davis and Laura Comeau.
This was third consolation match the U.S. Women's National Team program has played in its history, also playing for third at the 1995 and 2003 FIFA Women's World Cups. The USA has won all three matches.
The USA scored 13 goals in the tournament and allowed four, earning shutouts in four out of its six games. Five U.S. players played every minute of all six matches in Harris, Buehler, Stephanie Lopez, Stephanie Logterman and Becky Sauerbrunn, who marshaled the U.S. defense admirably against the slashing Brazilians. Three U.S. players scored three goals a piece in Woznuk, who scored twice from the penalty spot, Rapinoe and Jessica Rostedt. Rodriguez had two goals while Hanks and Sheree Gray had one each. Harris, who also played ever minute in the nets at the 2002 FIFA U-19 World Championship, finishes her U-19 international career as the USA's all-time leader in caps with 39 and with a 28-5-2 all-time record between the posts in U-19 internationals.
Canada's Brittany Timko, with seven goals, won the Golden Shoe as the tournament's top scorer while German star Anja Mittag won the Silver Shoe. Mittag also won the Bronze Ball as the third Most Outstanding Player in the tournament.
U.S. UNDER-19 WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
Match-up: USA vs. Brazil
Competition: FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship 2004 - Third-Place Match
Venue: Rajamangala Stadium; Bangkok, Thailand
Date: November 27, 2004; Kickoff - 4:00 p.m. Local / 4:00 a.m. ET
Weather: Cloudy, breezy - 88 degrees
1 2 F
USA 2 1 3
BRA 0 0 0
USA - Kerri Hanks (Unassisted) 21st minute.
USA - Megan Rapinoe (Angie Woznuk) 27.
USA - Angie Woznuk (Alexa Orand) 73.
USA: 18-Ashlyn Harris - C; 3-Rachel Buehler, 15-Nikki Krzysik, 11-Becky Sauerbrunn, 6-Stephanie Lopez; 8-Stephanie Logterman, 4-Jen Redmond (5-Sheree Gray, 46), 9-Kerri Hanks (12-Alexa Orand, 53, 2-Stephanie Kron, 85), 10-Angie Woznuk, 7-Megan Rapinoe; 16-Amy Rodriguez.
Subs not used: 1-Kelsey Davis, 13-Yael Averbuch, 14-Meghan Schnur, 17-Jessica Rostedt, 19-Meagan Holmes, 20-Stacy Lindstrom, 21-Laura Comeau.
Head Coach: Mark Krikorian
BRA: 12-Thais; 2-Tatiana, 3-Elysa, 4-Renata Diniz - C, 5-Aliane (19-Sandra, 32); 8-Renta Costa, 9-Rosana, 17-Maurine (13-Raquel Bueno, 46, 16-Dayane, 66); 7-Kelly, 10-Marta, 11-Cristiane.
Subs not used: 1-Kelly Nunes, 6-Karen, 14-Francine, 15-Adriana, 18-Erika, 20-Raquel Farias, 21-Rita.
Head Coach: Luiz Ferreira
Shots on Goal: 4/8
Corner Kicks: 5/7
BRA - Aliane (caution) 20th minute.
BRA - Marta (caution) 21.
BRA - Tatiana (caution) 44.
USA - Angie Woznuk (caution) 70.
BRA - Renata Costa (caution) 73.
Referee: Sarah Girard (France)
Asst. Referee: Yolando Parga Rodriguez (Spain)
Asst. Referee: Michaela Kaar (Austria)
4th Official: Anna De Toni (Italy)
FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship Awards
1st Place: Germany
2nd Place: China
3rd Place: USA
Most Outstanding Players
Golden Ball: Marta (Brazil)
Silver Ball: Angie Woznuk (USA)
Bronze Ball: Anja Mittag (Germany)
Golden Shoe: Brittany Timko (Canada)
Silver Shoe: Anja Mittag (Germany)
Bronze Shoe: Angie Woznuk (USA)
FIFA Fair Play Award