DUNYUN, China (Via U.S. Soccer) – While all the goal-scoring action came late in the match, the U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team defeated host China, 2-1, in the second game for both teams at the CFA International Women’s Youth Football Tournament.
Substitutes scored both goals for the USA as Jenna Nighswonger, who came on in the 74th, put the USA up 1-0 in the 77th while 82nd minute sub Alexa Spaanstra bagged the game-winner in the final minute of regulation time. The goals were sandwiched around an 85th minute penalty kick equalizer by China.
With the victory, the USA moves to the top of the four-team tournament standings and will take first place with a win or a tie in its final game on Sept. 14 against Iran, which lost to Japan, 5-1, in the other match of the day.
This will be just the second meeting between the USA and Iran in women’s soccer. The first came in April of 2016 when the countries met at the U-16 level in Italy at the 1st Women’s Tournament Delle Nazioni. The USA won that historic match, 6-0.
Nighswonger tallied less than five minutes after replacing Briana Pinto, who scored the game-winner in the 1-0 victory against Japan on Sept. 10. Nighswonger found herself squared up on a China defender just inside the penalty box on the left side and faked to her left before taking two touches with her right foot and smashing a ball over the goalkeeper into the top-middle of the goal.
China equalized after a foul inside the penalty box by Shae Holmes. Dou Jiaxing drove her spot kick into the top right corner, but with the match seemingly headed for a draw, Spaanstra provided the heroics.
A veteran of the USA’s 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Team, Spaanstra intercepted a back pass from Dou and sprinted into the right side of the penalty box before blasting her shot into the upper left corner just as the match entered stoppage time.
China played the final five minutes, plus stoppage time, with 10 players after an injured player left the game and China had already used their allowed second-half stoppages for substitutes.
U.S. U-19 WNT head coach Keri Sarver called up 22 players for this trip, 16 born in 2000 (the birth year for this age group of U-19s), three born in 1999 and three players born in 2001.
All the players on this roster are age-eligible for the team that will attempt to qualify for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup to be held in France. The age cut-off for that World Cup is players born on or after January 1, 1998.
U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team Match Report
Match: United States U-19 WNT vs China U-20 WNT
Date: September 12, 2017
Competition: CFA International Women’s Youth Football Tournament Duyun 2017
Venue: Qiannan Fitness Center Main Stadium; Dunyun, China
Weather: 70 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 2 2
CHN 0 1 1
USA – Jenna Nighswonger 77th minute
CHN – Dou Jiaxing (penalty kick) 85
USA – Alexa Spaanstra 90
USA: 1-Claudia Dickey; 5-Sydney Dawson, 4-Naomi Girma (capt.), 2-Brianna Martinez, 11-Kate Wiesner (3-Shae Holmes, 46), 6-Jaelin Howell, 7-Summer Yates (20-Cori Dyke, 61), 8-Brianna Pinto (19-Jenna Nighswonger, 74), 16-Rachel Jones (17-Jordan Canniff, 61), 18-Jordan Brewster (9-Alexa Spaanstra, 82), 10-Sophia Smith
Subs Not Used:13-Aleigh Gambone, 14-Maycee Bell, 15-Astrid Wheeler, 21-Emily Gray, 22-Meagan McClelland, 23-Madelyn Desiano
Head Coach: Keri Sarver
CHN: 1-Peng Shimeng; 4-Wang Linlin, 3-Dou Jiaxing (capt.), 5-Chen Qiaozhu, 13-He Luyao, 15-Zhang Jiayun (27-Chen Yuanmeng, 15), 6-Liu Jing, 8-Xu Jiameng (29-Yao Mengjia, 61), 21-Zhi Jie, 16-Ma Xiaolan (19-Xie Qiwen, 69), 20-Zhao Yujie (28-Wang Yanwen, 71)
Subs Not Used: 2-Jin Kun, 11-Yang Xiaoxia, 22-Liang Jiahui, 23-Xu Huan, 26-Cui Mengqi
Head Coach: Hesterine
Stats Summary: USA / CHN
Shots: 9 / 8
Shots on Goal: 6 / 6
Saves: 5 / 4
Corner Kicks: 5 / 5
Fouls: 6 / 2
Offside: 12 / 3
Referee: Yu Hong
Assistant Referee 1: Fang Yan
Assistant Referee 2: Zhao Yanan
4th Official: Wang Khun