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Global Jan 22, 2018

USA clinches spot in CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship semis

COUVA, Trinidad & Tobago (Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team defeated Jamaica 2-1 to win its second group stage match at the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship. With the victory, the USA clinches a berth in the tournament semifinals.

The U.S. controlled possession for most of the first half, but as the clock wore on, Jamaica’s counterattack cut deeper and deeper into the Americans’ final third. U.S. Midfielder Savannah DeMelo found success feeding the ball to forwards Sophia Smith and Civana Kulmann, letting the duo fire away on some dangerous chances. Smith rocketed a few threatening shots, but wasn’t able to find the back of the net until a 42nd-minute free kick.

The USA came out of the half on the attack with an eye to extend its lead, but the Reggae Girlzbecame more aggressive as the half wore on and made some very dangerous forays into U.S. territory, highlighted by a shot off the crossbar with 20 minutes remaining.

+READ: USWNT overpowers Denmark 5-1 in first match of 2018

The shot was a warning, and Jamaica equalized from a set piece in the 88th minute via a Jadyn Matthews strike. But the USA was not to be defeated, striking back just over a minute later as Smith picked out Howell in the Jamaica box for the game winner and extend its CONCACAF qualifying undefeated streak to 22.

In the first Group B match of the day, Mexico defeated Nicaragua 3-0. El Tri is currently first in Group B based on goal differential.

Up Next: The USA will have a chance to top the group when they face Mexico on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 3 p.m. ET (UDN, CONCACAF YouTube).

+READ: USA blanks Nicaragua 2-0 in CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship

2018 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship
Group B Standings
Team GP W L D Pts. GF GA GD
Mexico 2 2 0 0 6 6 0 +6
USA 2 2 0 0 6 4 1 +3
Nicaragua 2 0 2 0 0 0 4 -4
Jamaica 2 0 2 0 0 1 6 -5

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Sophia Smith (free kick), 42nd minute: On the attack, Savannah DeMelo drew a foul when she was sandwiched between two defenders near the top of the center of the Jamaica box. She, Isabel Rodriguez and Smith lined up behind the ball on the free kick, and after some shuffling, Smith was left to take it. She struck a thunderous shot to the top right corner, giving the USA a 1-0 lead just before the half. USA 1, JAM 0 [WATCH]

JAM – Jadyn Matthews (Jody Brown), 88th minute: Jamaica’s second half pressure finally told late on when a free kick from 35 yards out to the right of the U.S. goal was floated in toward the back post where Brown headed the ball back across the face of goal. Matthews was quickest to react, stabbing the ball over the line with two defenders closing in. USA 2, JAM 1 [WATCH]

USA – Jaelin Howell (Sophia Smith), 89h minute: The USA responded immediately after suffering a potentially dispiriting equalizer. Advancing the ball down Jamaica’s right flank, Smith got free with the ball near the endline and zipped a pass across the goal mouth, picking out the run of Howell who only needed to make contact to redirect the ball in from the center of the six-yard box to secure an exhilarating late win for the United States. USA 2, JAM 1 [WATCH] FINAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:

JAM – Sydney Schneider, 14th minute: Rodriguez came up to win a tough ball in the air and headed it forward, finding Kelsey Turnbow. She centered it to DeMelo, who immediately hit a pass to Smith at the top of the box. The forward took a few dribbles and launched a booming strike to the right side, but Sydney Schneider tipped the USA’s best early chance upwards and out-of-bounds.

USA – Amanda McGlynn, 43rd minute: Jamaica found its most dangerous chance of the first half soon after the opening goal. Quickly pressing into the American end, Giselle Washington tapped the ball towards the net from the top of the circle, setting off a foot race between Marlee Fray and Zoe Morse. Fray and Morse collided right in front of U.S. goalkeeper Amanda McGlynn, but she quickly recovered to grab the ball as it squirted out.

JAM – Sydney Schneider, 54th minute: After an American attacking run, Schneider’s clearance attempt was intercepted in the air and played up to Kuhlmann. She had the ball taken away from her, but the misplayed clearance teed the ball up for Viviana VIllacorta on the run. The midfielder launched a shot towards the right side, but Schneider got just enough to deflect the ball out-of-bounds.

JAM – Sydney Schneider, 59th minute: From behind the half line, Naomi Girma hit a well-placed long ball to find Smith on the run. She centered to DeMelo, whose first-time attempt was deflected by Schneider’s shin guard. She quickly recovered and secured the ball.

USA – Amanda McGlynn, 71st minute: The Reggae Girlz got more aggressive as the half wore on, aided by a spark from substitute Jazmin Grant. Grant made a nice dribble all the way from the Jamaican third to the American end and after a back-and-forth with her teammate, she launched a screamer from the top left corner of the box. McGlynn deflected it upwards, but it bounced off the crossbar. Mireya Grey captured the rebound and dished to Grant in front of the net, but her follow-up attempt on net went wide.

– U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team Match Report –

Match: U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team vs. Jamaica
Date: January 21, 2018
Competition: 2018 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship – Group B
Venue: Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: 247
Weather: 79 degrees, clear

Scoring Summary:    1          2          F
USA                             1          1          2                                  
JAM                             0          1          1                             

USA – Sophia Smith                                          42nd minute
JAM – Jadyn Matthews (Jody Brown)               88
USA – Jaelin Howell (Sophia Smith)                 89

Lineups:
USA: 12-Amanda McGlynn; 4-Naomi Girma; 13-Tara McKeown, 5-Isabel Rodriguez, 6-Zoe Morse; 8-Brianna Pinto, 15-Viviana Villacorta, 9-Savannah DeMelo (capt.) (18-Jaelin Howell, 65); 16-Kelsey Turnbow (2-Ashley Sanchez, 45), 3-Sophia Smith, 20-Civana Kuhlmann (11-Abigail Kim, 77)
Subs not used: 1-Laurel Ivory, 7-Taryn Torres, 10-Samantha Coffey, 14-Karina Rodriguez, 17-Kiara Pickett
Head coach: Jitka Klimkova

JAM: 1-Sydney Schneider (c); 3-Chyanne Dennis, 2-Madiya Harriott, 6-Gabrielle Gayle, 15-Jayden Matthews; 16-Ebony Clarke (9-Olufolasade Adamolekun, 55), 14-Mireya Grey (20-Shayla Smart, 87), 19-Alyssa Julien, 10-Jody Brown, 11-Giselle Washington; 7-Marlee Fray (17-Jazmin Grant, 71)
Subs not used: 4-Nevillgail Able, 5-Kevena Reid, 8-Jayda Pelaia-Hylton, 12-Erin Mikalsen, 13-Yazmeen Jamieson, 18-Emily Caza
Head coach: Lorne Donaldson

Stats Summary: USA / JAM
Shots: 27 / 9
Shots on Goal: 10 / 4
Saves: 3 / 8
Corner Kicks: 7 / 2
Fouls: 10 / 14
Offside: 1 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials: 
Referee: Carol-Anne Chenard (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Chantel Boudreau (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2:  Shirley Perello (HON)
4th Official: Marion Leon (SLV)

ussoccer.com Woman of the Match: Sophia Smith

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