ALAJUELA, Costa Rica (Aug. 17, 2022) – The U.S. Under-20 Women’s Youth National Team fell to Japan 3-1 in the team’s final group stage match of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. With the result, the USA finishes third in Group D and will not advance to the quarterfinals. Japan finished first and Netherlands second in the group and will advance to the knockout stage.
The USA came into the match needing a two-goal victory over Japan to advance and had several quality chances in an evenly played first half that went to the break tied 0-0. The USA’s best chance came early after forward Ally Sentnor weaved her way through several defenders and shot from the top of the penalty box. The ball took a big deflection off a Japan defender, wrong-footing goalkeeper Shu Ohba, but she recovered and scrambled to push the ball outside the post to deny what would have been a momentum-changing score for the U.S.
While the USA strung together a few quality attacks early in the second half, ultimately it was Japan that scored first, netting a crucial goal courtesy of forward Manaka Matsukobo after a turnover and quick counterattack inside the USA’s half. Japan then doubled their lead 12 minutes later, this time off a corner kick which ended with defender Shinomi Koyama burying a powerful strike from the left side of the penalty box.
The U.S. players showed heart and tenacity as they continued their attacking efforts and had a few more quality chances before narrowing the deficit in the 70th when forward Alyssa Thompson played a cross into the box from the right wing that forward Simone Jackson finished on her first touch from five yards out. It was Jackon’s first goal of the World Cup.
Japan then struck again in the 84th minute with a close-range header from defender Haruna Tabata following a long cross into the box. The play was initially ruled offside but was changed to goal following a VAR review.
Both teams had 12 shots and earned three corner kicks, but Japan, like the Netherlands in the USA’s second group game, were far more clinical in the attacking third. The USA held a slight edge in possession, 52 percent to 48, but the defending U-20 Women’s World Cup champion (Japan won in 2018) had six shots on goal to just four for the USA.
In the other match in Group D, the Netherlands routed Ghana 4-1 to cement their second-place finish in the group as Japan claimed first with an unbeaten nine-point run over its three matches.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
JPN – Manaka Matsukobo (Yuzuki Yamamoto), 55th minute – Yamamoto forced a turnover in the USA defensive third and played Matsukobo in on goal. She dribbled up to the box and cut inside to shake off pressure before firing low with her left foot to open the scoring from 17 yards out. USA 0, JPN 1
JPN – Shinomi Koyama (Aoba Fujino), 67th minute – Following a set piece play off a corner from the right side, Koyama settled the ball in the left side of the box and shot high across the goal with her left foot to double the lead from about 12 yards out. USA 0, JPN 2
USA – Simone Jackson (Alyssa Thompson), 70th minute – Thompson received the ball on the right wing and raced for the end line before playing a cross to the middle that bounced inside the box toward the back post, where Jackson met it and finished from five yards out. USA 1, JPN 2
JPN – Haruna Tabata (Ibuki Nagae), 84th minute – Nagae and Tabata chased a long cross into the USA box. Nagae won it and played the ball square to Tabata, who finished with a header near the edge of the six-yard box. USA 1, JPN 3
- The USA has never beaten Japan in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. This marked the third consecutive U-20 WWC tournament in which the USA and Japan have squared off with the USA suffering 1-0 losses in the 2018 group stage and 2016 Third-Place Match.
- Nineteen of the 21 players on the World Cup roster saw action over the USA’s three games of the tournament. Only midfielder Annie Karich, an injury replacement for Sally Menti, and goalkeeper Teagan Wy did not see the field.
- Eighteen of the players on the U.S. roster will now head into their college environments while two players return to their NWSL clubs in Olivia Moultrie (Portland Thorns FC), who played a fine tournament in the midfield for the USA, and 17-year-old Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave FC).
- Alyssa Thompson is starting her senior year of high school and will attend Stanford in the fall of 2023.
-U.S. Under-20 Women’s Youth National Team Match Report-
Match: United States Under-20 Women’s Youth National Team vs. Japan U-20 Women’s National Team
Date: Aug. 17, 2022
Competition: 2022 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup – Group D
Venue: Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto; Alajuela, Costa Rica
Kickoff: 5 p.m. local (7 p.m. ET)
Weather: 73 degrees, cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
JPN 0 3 3
JPN – Manaka Matsukubo (Yuzuki Yamamoto) 55th minute
JPN -- Shinomi Koyama 67
USA – Simone Jackson (Alyssa Thompson) 70
JPN – Haruna Tabata (Aoba Fujino) 84
USA: 1-Mia Justus; 2-Laney Rouse, 4-Emily Mason, 5-Lilly Reale, (16-Lauren Flynn, 72), 18-Samar Guidry (15-Trinity Byars, 72); 6-Talia DellaPeruta (10-Jaedyn Shaw, 61), 13-Olivia Moultrie, 19-Korbin Albert, 7-Alyssa Thompson, 9-Michelle Cooper (Capt.) (8-Andrea Kitahata, 81), 20-Ally Sentnor (11-Simone Jackson, 61)
Substitutes Not Used: 3-Ayo Oke, 12-Neeku Purcell, 14-Carina Lageyre, 17-Annie Karich, 21-Teagan Wy
Head Coach: Tracey Kevins
JPN: 18-Shu Ohba; 7-Mihoshi Sugisawa, 12-Haruna Tabata, 4-Rion Ishikawa, 16-Shinomi Koyama, 3-Ibuki Nagae (Capt.); 10-Aoba Fujino (17-Maya Hijikata, 71), 6-Aemu Oyama (15-Suzu Amano, 66), 8-Kokona Iwasaki (19-Riko Yoshida, 90); 9-Yuzuki Yamamoto (11-Maika Hamano, 66), 14-Manaka Matsukubo (13-Mei Shimada, 90)
Substitutes not used: 1-Shiori Fukuda, 2-Akane Nishino, 5-Manaka Hayashi, 20-Urara Watanabe, 21-Nina Noda
Head coach: Futoshi Ikeda
Stats Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 12 / 12
Shots on Goal: 4 / 6
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 3 / 3
Fouls: 9 / 5
Offside: 1 / 0
USA – Michelle Cooper (Caution) 49th minute
USA – Laney Rouse (Caution) 82
Referee: Marta Huerta (ESP)
1st Assistant Referee: Guadalupe Porras (ESP)
2nd Assistant Referee: Katalin Torok (HUN)
4th Official: Cheryl Foster (WAL)
VAR: Salome Di Iorio (ARG)
AVAR 1: Maria Carvajal (CHI)
AVAR 2: Eliana Fernandez (ESP)