U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team defeats China 4-1 in friendly match at The Home Depot Center
The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team defeated its counterparts from China 4-1 on Thursday as Lindsey Horan scored twice while Chioma Ubogagu and Samantha Mewis also added goals.
All five goals came after the break with the U.S. scoring in the first seconds of the second half and the last seconds of stoppage time.
Both countries have qualified for the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup to be held from Aug. 18-Sept. 8 in Japan and the match served as valuable preparation for both squads. The two teams will meet again on Sunday, April 15, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Kickoff is at 3 p.m. PT and admission is free.
“Overall, I’m pleased with the result,” said U.S. head coach Steve Swanson. “I thought we were a little bit impatient in the first half, a little bit stagnant, but at times there were some very good sequences and good quality chances. In the second half, we obviously got after them a little more and we were able to open them up. Our defensive pressure was good all over the field and we didn’t give up too many scoring chances.”
The first real chance for the USA came in the 18th minute when Mollie Pathman lifted a free kick up and over the wall from just outside the penalty area. She got the ball on frame, but it stuck into the hands of well-positioned Chinese goalkeeper Yang Yan, who would go on to have an excellent game while making eight saves despite giving up the four goals.
The best U.S. attacking sequence of the first half came after about 35 minutes and it got Maya Hayes free down right wing. She took a dynamic first touch to get into the penalty area before cutting the ball back into the path of Horan, but her shot that was likely on net hit a teammate and was cleared.
The USA finally got on the board less than one minute into the second half as speedster Kealia Ohai sprinted down the left side and swung an accurate cross on the ground to the crashing Horan. She hit her shot off a defender and it spun up in the air and into the left side of the net past the wrong-footed Yang.
Horan made it 2-0 less than five minutes later as halftime substitute Mewis won a ball at midfield, played a give-and-go and then looped a short cross into the middle. Horan brought the ball down well at the top of the box, left one defender in the dust with a slick dribble inside and then slotted home easily.
Horan had a chance for her third goal and a super-fast hat trick in the 53rd minute when Ohai once again got around the end down the left side. She shot hard at the near post from close range, but Yang made a pointblank save. The ball was poorly cleared and it ended up on the foot of Horan, who hit another shot from close in, but Yang was once again in the right spot to parry it away.
Halftime substitute Katie Stengel then had several chances to increase the lead. In the 72nd minute, Ubogagu (who had come on in the 66th minute for Horan) danced past a defender at the top of the penalty area to make space for a shot, which was deflected to Stengel. Before she could shoot from the doorstep, a defender and the goalkeeper slid at her feet and all three went down in a heap.
One minute later, Stengel found herself with only the goalkeeper to beat in the right side of the penalty area, but Yang cut down the angle well and the shot caromed off her for a corner kick.
Amazingly, Yang once again denied Stengel in the 76th minute after the U.S. forward muscled past a defender into the right side of the box and raced in on goal. The Chinese goalkeeper then stood her ground to turn away yet another one-on-one chance.
Ohai was a menace down the left flank for the entire second half and wriggled free from a defender in the 82nd minute while she glided into the middle but fired her shot just over the right upper corner.
China came right down the field and earned a penalty kick in the 83rd minute after Yang Lina was clipped down in the penalty area under duress from several U.S. players.
Liu Shanshan stepped up to take the spot kick and buried it into the left side of the net past Abby Smith, who had replaced starting goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin in the 58th minute.
In a wild last two minutes of regulation and two minutes of stoppage time, China had a chance to equalize off a header in the 88th minute, but the attacker did not get a solid piece of the ball and Smith leaped to grab the falling shot on the goal line. Smith also smothered a hard shot from distance that was directly at her.
Right after China’s chances, the USA came right down the field and Ubogagu got behind the defense to finish her breakaway after being put through by Mewis, who earned her second assist of the game.
The USA made it 4-1 with just seconds left when Stengel bullied her way around the left side of China’s defense and cut the ball back to Mewis, who side-footed her shot off the goalkeeper’s hand and into the left corner of the net. China barely had time to kick off before the final whistle blew.
– U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team vs. China U-20 WNT
Date: April 12, 2012
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field; The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.
Kickoff: 3 p.m. PT
Weather: 68 degrees, sunny, windy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 4 4
CHN 0 1 1
USA – Lindsey Horan (Kealia Ohai) 46th minute
USA – Lindsey Horan (Samantha Mewis) 51
CHN – Liu Shanshan (penalty kick) 84
USA – Chioma Ubogagu (Samantha Mewis) 88
USA – Samantha Mewis (Katie Stengel) 90 + 2
USA: 1-Bryane Heaberlin (18-Abby Smith, 58); 4-Crystal Dunn (19-Stephanie Amack, 69), 5-Kassey Kallman, 2-Mollie Pathman; 8-Julie Johnston (capt.) (16-Sarah Killion, 66), 6-Morgan Brian, 12-Vanessa DiBernardo (15-Samantha Mewis, 46), 7-Kealia Ohai, 20-Maya Hayes (14-Katie Stengel, 46), 11-Lindsey Horan (9-Chioma Ubogagu, 66)
Subs not used: 10-Mandy Laddish, 13-Caprice Dydasco, 17-Olivia Brannon, 21-Lauren Lindstrom, 23-Ashley Meier, 24-Emily Oliver
Head Coach: Steve Swanson
CHN: 1-Yang Yan; 2-Yu Haiyan, 17-Lin Yuping, 4-Huang Yini, 3-Wang YingYing; 6-Zhang Xin, 10-Song Sicheng (21-Shi Aijing, 75), 5-Liu Shanshan, 7-Wang Shuang (24-Mu Yunrui, 66); 11-Yao Shuangyan (13-Yang Lina, 54), 18-Li Ying (8-Wang Tingting, 87)
Subs Not Used: 12-Cai Wenfei, 15-Luo Guiping, 16-Zhao Xindi, 22-Xia Tingting, 23-Zhang Xue, 25-Han Jiayuan
Head Coach: Yin Tiesheng
Stats Summary: USA / CHN
Shots: 18 / 7
Shots on Goal: 12 / 4
Saves: 3 / 8
Corner Kicks: 5 / 3
Fouls: 6 / 7
Offside: 1 / 2
CHN – Li Ying (caution) 10th minute
CHN – Lin Yuping (caution) 22
CHN – Shi Aijing (caution) 77
Referee: Daniel Radford (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Omar Meza (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Stacey Lastra (USA)
Fourth Official: Jose Pacheco (USA)