SAINT-MALO, France (March 6, 2018) -- The U-20 Women’s National Team drew 2-2 with France in the second of two friendlies in preparation for this summer’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. A pair of goals from Sophia Smith fueled the USA at Stade de Marville, one of four official venues for this summer’s tournament. The U-20 WNT will learn their World Cup group on Thursday, March 8 at the Official Draw in Rennes, France.
After struggling to get going in the first fixture against France on March 3 in Vannes, a 1-0 U.S. victory, the American attack was active early in Saint-Malo. The early pressure was rewarded in the fourth minute when Civana Kuhlmann found Smith in front of the net and she ripped a shot past the goalkeeper to give the U.S. an early lead.
Les Bleues responded quickly. After several threatening runs against the USA in Vannes, forward Marie Antoinette Katoto finally broke through in the second leg. Emelyne Laurent played Katoto through on a ball along she hammered it home to tie the game. The French controlled most of the half, but some stellar goalkeeping from Laurel Ivory kept the game even, highlighted by a series of goal line stops in the 18th minute.
France continued to push forward in the second half. After a series of chances, Kelly Gago hit a looping shot from the corner of the box that slipped past Ivory’s fingertips and into the far post for a 64th-minute goal.
Spurred by its second-half substitutes, the USA pushed for an equalizer. Just ten minutes after France took the lead, midfielder Viviana Villacorta played the ball to forward Penelope Hocking at the top of the box. Hocking connected with Smith on the run towards the net, and she finished smartly to knot the score at 2-2. Though the USA continued to make dangerous runs late into stoppage time, the young Americans were unable to create a winner.
The U-20s will be back in action next month in La Manga, Spain, for the 2018 La Manga U-23 Tournament.
- U.S. U-20 Women's National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team vs. France U-20 Women’s National Team
Date: March 6, 2018
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Stade de Marville; Saint-Malo, France
Weather: 45 degrees, rain
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
FRA 1 1 2
USA – Sophia Smith (Civana Kuhlmann) 4th minute
FRA – Marie Antoinette Katoto (Emelyne Laurent) 9
FRA – Kelly Gago 64
USA – Sophia Smith (Penelope Hocking) 81
Lineups:USA: 22-Laurel Ivory, 2-Kiara Pickett, 4-Naomi Girma, 5-Zoe Morse (capt.), 10-Jordan Brewster (13-Tara McKeown, 75); 18-Jaelin Howell, 8-Brianna Pinto (20-Samantha Coffey, 75), 6-Savannah DeMelo (16-Viviana Villacorta, 46); 9-Civana Kuhlmann, 17-Abigail Kim (7-Penelope Hocking, 65), 3-Sophia Smith,
Subs not used: 12-Brooke Heinsohn, 1-Amanda McGlynn, 11-Taryn Torres, 14-Delanie Sheehan, 15-Karina Rodriguez, 19-Jenna Bike, 21-Chardonnay Curran, 23-Kelsey Turnbow, 24-Samantha Hiatt
Head coach: Jitka Klimkova
FRA: 16-Jade Lebastard, 12-Pauline Dechilly (13-Romane Enguehard, 46), 3-Selma Bacha, 5-Sarah Galera (14-Julie Thibaud, 78), 7-Emelyne Laurent (22-Kelly Gago, 63), 8-Annahita Le Loc’h Zamanian (6-Doriane Pau, 46), 9-Marie Antoinette Katoto (capt.) (20-Mathilde Bourdieu, 63), 10-Christy Gavory (19-Ines Boutaleb, 63), 4-Julie Piga, 18-Sana Daoudi (15-Lina Boussaha, 78), 21-Sandy Baltimore
Subs not used: 1-Mylene Chavas, 2-Elisa De Almeida, 17-Amira Ould Braham
Head coach: Gilles Eyquem
Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 7 / 12
Shots on Goal: 4 / 6
Saves: 4 / 2
Corner Kicks: 4 / 2
Fouls: 5 / 7
Offside: 0 / 2
FRA – Selma Bacha (caution) 17th minute
Referee: Anaëlle Loidon
Assistant Referee 1: Charlotte Forest
Assistant Referee 2: Joséphine Ribault
Fourth Official: Camille Soriano
ussoccer.com Woman of the Match: Zoe Morse