VASSA, Finland (July 22, 2007) – The U.S. Under-21 Women’s National Team edged Sweden, 1-0, in its second and final group match at the 2007 Nordic Cup as forward Kiki Bosio came off the bench for the second straight match to score the winning goal.
Combined with the USA’s 1-0 win over Norway in its first match, the victory gives the Americans first place in Group B and a place in the championship game against Group A winners Germany, who pounded host Finland 6-0 to earn its berth.
This marks the 11th consecutive year the USA has made the title game of the Nordic Cup. The U.S. team won seven Nordic Cups in a row from 1999-2005 before falling to the Germans in the championship game last year, and will certainly be looking for some revenge in the title game on Tuesday, July 24, in Vassa. The last time the Nordic Cup was held in Finland in 2002, the USA defeated Germany in the final, 3-1.
“Both games were tough games and both teams were good opponents,” said U.S. captain Rachel Buehler of the group games. “Our defense has certainly been a key factor, but we’ve been able to battle and squeak out the wins.”
Bosio, a rising sophomore at Santa Clara University, came off the bench on July 18 in the 55th minute against Norway and scored the winning goal in the 77th minute. Against Sweden, got it done even quicker, entering in the 58th minute and scored in the 72nd.
The goal originated after midfielder Sarah Huffman, herself a 61st minute sub, swung Bosio a pass near the ride sideline. Bosio dribbled square across the top of the penalty area, lost a defender and bent her curving left-footed shot into the upper left corner from 18 yards out.
“We are struggling a bit in scoring goals, but we are definitely creating chances,” said Bosio, who is playing in her first Nordic Cup. “We didn’t start the game very well, but as it progressed, we got better and better. The coaches let us know at halftime that they were disappointed in our play, but in the second half we worked a lot harder and that eventually led to the victory.”
This will be the fourth time the USA has faced Germany in the Nordic Cup title game, winning in 2000 and 2002, before falling 2-0 last year.
“It will be a good game,” said Buehler of yet another USA-Germany clash. “Our styles more similar than the last two teams we played, as they were more direct. Germany is always a strong side and they just came off a 6-0 win so they will be strong and confident. There is a history between the teams, and we do want revenge for last year.”
This year’s U.S. Nordic Cup team features two players with extremely impressive flip throw-ins in Bosio and forward Michele Weissenhofer. The duo delighted the fans in Vassa by launching more than a half-dozen missles at the Swedish net. In fact, Weissenhofer hit the post on one throw, and then five minutes from the end of the match, she chucked a ball straight into the Swedish net, but it was waved off as a throw-in is an indirect set play.
“Sweden were physical, they had a game plan to disrupt us they did a good job of it,” said U.S. head coach Bill Irwin, who used all of his field player substitutes in the match. “Against Germany, we will need to play the way are capable of playing. We didn’t play up to our level (in the first two matches), we played down to their level and in the championship game we are going to need players to step up. Our defense has done well, they’ve battled and won tackles, but our possession really struggled today.”
Held in Northern Europe every summer, the USA has competed in the tournament for well more than a decade, as it has become the focus of the USA’s oldest youth national team during its six-month run-up to the prestigious competition. In response to FIFA moving its oldest world championship for women from Under-19 to Under-20, this year the Nordic Cup moved from an Under-21 competition to an Under-23 tournament (it was staged as a U-20 event from 1990-1997).
U.S. UNDER-21 WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
Match-up: USA vs. Sweden
Competition: 2007 Under-23 Nordic Cup
Venue: Kaale Stadium - Vaasa, Finland
Date: July 22, 2007; Kickoff – 4:30 p.m. local / 8:30 a.m. ET
Weather: Sunny – 70 degrees
1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
SWE 0 0 0
USA – Kiki Bosio (Sara Huffman) 72nd minute.
USA: 1-Cori Alexander; 10-Rachel Buehler – Capt., 4-Nikki Krzysik, 16-Stephanie Logterman (12-Kendall Fletcher, 46), 13-Manya Makoski; 3-Tina DiMartino (23-Becky Sauerbrunn, 86), 11-Ali Krieger, 6-Angie Woznuk (14-Sarah Huffman, 61); 9-Danesha Adams (19-Michele Weissenhofer, 75), 5-Kelsey Carpenter (8-Ella Masar, 46), 15-Amanda Cinalli (7-Kiki Bosio, 58).
Subs not used: 18-Kelsey Davis.
Head coach: Bill Irwin
SWEDEN – 1- Stéphanie Öhrström; 2-Lina Nilsson (6-Maria Nilsson, 86), 3-Malin Levenstad, 4-Emma Wilhelmsson, 9-Linda Forsberg; 10-Maria Nordbrandt (14-Madelaine Edlund, 66), 11-Jessica Landström (5-Alexandra Nilsson, 86), 13-Linda Sembrant (7-Lena Andersson, 81), 16-Anna Bodén (15-Emmelie Farfa, 72); 17-Lisa Dahlkvist; 18-Emelia Erixon (8-Emma Stålhammar, 52).
Subs not used: 12-Malin Andersson.
Head coach: Lena Videkull
Shots: 9 / 5
Shots on goal: 5 / 2
Saves: 2 / 4
Corner Kicks: 5 / 2
Fouls: 5 / 11
Offside: 1 / 0
USA -- Danesha Adams (caution) 11th minute.
SWE -- Malin Levenstad (caution) 21.
Referee: Lina Langbacka (Finland)
Asst. Referee: Jenny Kaarnasaari (Finland)
Asst. Referee: Maria Antikainen (Finland)
4th Official: Anja Kunick (Germany)
Sierra Mist Player of the Game: Kiki Bosio
2007 Nordic Cup Group Standings
Teams W L T Pts GF GA GD
Germany 1 0 1 4 8 2 +6
Finland 1 1 0 3 4 7 +3
England 0 1 1 1 3 6 -3
Teams W L T Pts GF GA GD
USA 2 0 0 6 2 0 +2
Norway 1 1 0 3 2 1 +1
Sweden 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
2007 Nordic Cup Schedule- Finland - July 18-24, 2007
Group A: Finland, England and Germany
Group B: USA, Norway and Sweden
Wednesday, July 18
Group A: Finland 4, England 1
Group B: USA 1, Norway 0
Friday, July 20
Group A: England 2, Germany 2
Group B: Norway 2, Sweden 0
Sunday, July 22.
Group A: Germany 6, Finland 0
Group B: USA 1, Sweden
Tuesday, July 24
Fifth Place Match England vs. Sweden Sepänkylä
Third Place Match Finland vs. Norway Kaarle Stadium, Vaasa
Championship Match USA vs. Germany Hietalahti Stadium, Vaasa