COUVA, Trinidad & Tobago (Jan. 26, 2018) – The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team allowed a dramatic stoppage time equalizer but then showed tremendous character to keep its cool in penalty kicks, winning 3-0 in the shootout to defeat Haiti and earn a berth to the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
USA midfielder Jaelin Howell scored in the 75th minute, but then the USA allowed Haiti forward Nerilia Mondesir’s equalizer with just a minute left of the three in second half stoppage time, and regulation ended in a 1-1 draw. The match then went directly to penalty kicks with the USA converting three out of their four attempts while Haiti missed its first kick and saw its final two saved by U.S. goalkeeper Amanda McGlynn, who also made two huge saves during regulation.
The USA’s first penalty kick, taken by forward Sophia Smith, was saved, but forward Taryn Torres, Howell and defender Zoe Morse all converted high-pressure kicks to send the young Americans to France.
The game-winning goal was perhaps extra special for Morse, who missed the deciding penalty kick in the semifinal of the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship, resulting in the USA’s elimination from the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. CONCACAF had just two berths for that U-17 Women’s World Cup, which was held in Costa Rica.
The match marked the first minutes of the tournament for defender Tierna Davidson, who joined the squad at the end of group play after earning her first senior team cap on January 21 against Denmark in San Diego, where she played the entire 90 minutes and picked up an assist on the game-winning goal in the USA’s 5-1 victory. Davidson played a tremendous match in the center of the defense and blocked a dangerous Haiti chance inside the penalty area early in the game.
Haiti had several quality scoring chances on the day and played with tremendous fight in what was by far its best-ever result and performance against the USA, but the Americans’ goal in the 75th minute was well-deserved. The USA had missed open nets on three occasions during the match.
Haiti scored its equalizer while playing a woman down after defender Emeline Charles was issued her second yellow card in the 83rd minute for clattering into substitute Brianna Pinto from behind.
Mondesir quickly went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, hitting her team’s first penalty kick wide left. McGlynn then saved the next two. McGlynn’s first save was her best as she moved to her left and spectacularly palmed away Daelle Dumorany’s well-hit shot with her left hand. McGlynn also guessed correctly on her second save, taking a small step to her right to smother the shot of Roseline Eloissaint, setting the stage for Morse’s clutch winner.
The win has qualified the USA for this age group’s FIFA tournament for the ninth consecutive time. The first two tournaments were staged as Under-19 events before moving to U-20s in 2006.
Up Next: The USA will face the winner of the Canada-Mexico semifinal for the regional title on Sunday, Jan. 28 (4 p.m. ET; UDN, CONCACAF YouTube). The USA will aim to win its sixth overall CONCANCAF title for this age group and fifth in a row.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Jaelin Howell, 75th minute: After a long period of sustained pressure in the middle of the second half, the USA finally broke through with 15 minutes left. A long ball into the Haiti defensive third was brought down by Savannah DeMelo as she fell. Sprinting forward, Howell won the ball with her head, pushing it forward into the penalty area and then fired powerfully at goal from just inside the 18-yard box. Haiti goalkeeper Kerly Théus saved the shot, but the rebound went straight back to Howell, who powered her second chance through the goalkeeper’s legs and into the net for what seemed to be the game-winner. USA 1, HAI 0 [WATCH]
HAI – Nerilia Mondesir (Daelle Dumornay), 90+2 minute: Playing a player down, Haiti equalized with a minute to go in stoppage time as Dumornay lifted a ball over the U.S. defense and Mondesir got behind the USA back line. She raced into the penalty box and surrounded by U.S. defenders, knocked the ball on goal with her right knee, lifting it over U.S. goalkeeper Amanda McGlynn, who got a hand on it, but could not turn it away. USA 1, HAI 1 [WATCH] FINAL
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Amanda McGlynn, 13th minute: On Haiti’s first dangerous foray into the USA’s penalty area, Sherly Jeudy got behind the U.S. defense and McGlynn had to come off her line quickly to smother the one-on-one chance.
HAI – Kerly Théus, 41st minute: Sophia Smith did well to beat a few defenders at the top of the penalty box and then fired a shot on goal that was brilliantly-saved by Théus as she flew to push the ball over the crossbar.
HAI – Kerly Théus, 45+1st minute: Jaelin Howell’s header off a corner kick was dropping just under the crossbar, but another leaping save from Théus kept the game scoreless.
USA – Amanda McGlynn, 87th minute: With the USA holding a 1-0 lead, Dumornay fired a shot from 25 yards out that was dipping under the crossbar before McGlynn flew backwards and tipped the ball over the bar.
- The USA has made the final of this tournament eight consecutive times. There were no semifinals or final staged in the first tournament in 2002 as the group winners qualified for the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup.
- The USA’s seven goals in the tournament have come from six different players with Howell the top scorer with two goals.
- The goal was Howell’s second of her U-20 career.
- Haiti’s goal was its first ever against the USA.
- It was also only the second goal the USA has ever allowed in its eight semifinal games of this tournament.
- U.S. head coach Jitka Klimkova made all three allowed substitutes in the second half, sending on midfielder Brianna Pinto for Viviana Villacorta in the 52nd minute, Taryn Torres replaced Civana Kuhlmann in the 73rd and Samantha Coffey went on for Ashley Sanchez in the 88th minute.
- It was the lowest scoring semifinal ever for the USA at this tournament.
- U.S. U-20 Women's National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team vs. Haiti
Date: January 26, 2018
Competition: CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship – Semifinals
Venue: Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 82 degrees, partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F PK
USA 0 1 1 3
HAI 0 1 1 0
USA – Jaelin Howell 75th minute
HAI – Nerilia Mondesir (Melchie Daelle Dumonay) 90+2
USA – Smith (save), Torres (goal), Howell (goal), Morse (goal)
HAI – Mondesir (miss), Dumonay (save), Roseline Eloissaint (save)
USA: 12-Amanda McGlynn; 13-Tara McKeown, 19-Tierna Davidson, 6-Zoe Morse, 18-Jaelin Howell; 17-Kiara Pickett, 15-Viviana Villacorta (8-Brianna Pinto, 52), 9-Savannah DeMelo (capt.); 20-Civana Kuhlmann (7-Taryn Torres, 73), 2-Ashley Sánchez (10-Samantha Coffey, 88), 3-Sophia Smith
Subs not used: 1-Laurel Ivory; 4-Naomi Girma, 5-Isabel Rodríguez, 11-Abigail Kim, 14-Karina Rodríguez, 16-Kelsey Turnbow
Head coach: Jitka Klimkova
HAI: 1-Kerly Theus; 13-Rosianne Jean, 3-Naphtalie Northe, 4-Emeline Charles, 2-Ruthny Mathurin; 18-Melchie Daelle Dumonay, 5-Dougenie Tabita K. Joseph; 8-Nelourde Nicolas (6-Betina Petit-Frere, 68), 9-Sherly Jeudy, 11-Roseline Eloissaint; 10-Nerilia Mondesir (capt.)
Subs not used: 7-Melissa Shelsie Dacius, 12-Naphtaline Clermeus, 14-Rachelle Caremus, 15-Daniel Monique Etienne, 16-Taina Gervais, 17-Flero Dina Surpris, 19-Magdala Macean, 20-Dolores Jean Thomas
Head coach: Marc Collat
Stats Summary: USA / HAI
Shots: 12 / 13
Shots on Goal: 4 / 4
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 6 / 4
Fouls: 11 / 16
Offside: 8 / 0
USA - Tara McKeown (caution) 61st minute
HAI - Emeline Charles (caution) 68
HAI - Emeline Charles (caution) 83
HAI - Emeline Charles (sent off) 83
Referee: Melissa Borjas (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Shirley Perello (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Kimberly Moreira (CRC)
4th Official: Tatiana Guzman (NCA)
ussoccer.com Woman of the Match: Amanda McGlynn