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Global Oct 04, 2016

USA falls to Ghana 2-1 in U-17 Women’s World Cup group play

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AMMAN, Jordan (Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team lost 2-1 to Ghana at King Abdullah II International Stadium in its second Group D game of the 2016 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup.

Frankie Tagliaferri gave the USA an early lead in just the fifth minute on a hot afternoon as the U.S. began the game with verve and intensity. After the USA scored, Ghana became the aggressor for much of the final 80 minutes, putting the USA under heavy defensive pressure and winning the lion’s share of 50/50 balls which served to stifle the U.S. attack.

Gifty Acheampong eventually converted on a header for Ghana in the 63rd minute to tie the match. The goal combined with a pair of U.S. substitutions jolted the USA back into the match and captain Ashley Sanchez nearly gave the young Americans the lead once again with a stinging drive that deflected high off the center of Ghana’s crossbar. Ghana goalkeeper Kayza Massey lost sight of the ball as it fell back into the field of play near her right post where it bounced off the turf, hit the underside of the bar and then back down onto the goal line before Massey was able to claw it away from danger.

+Read: USA routs Paraguay 6-1 in FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup opener

The USA carved out a number of other quality chances through substitute Sophia Smith, but it was Ghana’s captain Sandra Owusu-Ansah who decided the match by converting a penalty kick in the 84th minute after the USA was whistled for a handball in the box.

The USA (1-1-0; 3pts) and Ghana (1-1-0; 3pts) are now tied in the Group D standings with the U.S. edging in front based on a superior +4 goal differential compared to Ghana’s -4. Japan (1-0-0; 3pts) and Paraguay (0-1-0; 0pts) play later in the day. No matter the outcome of that game, the U.S. now needs a result against Japan in the final Group D match on Saturday, Oct. 8 at Amman International Stadium (11:55 a.m. ET; FS2, NBC Universo).

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Frankie Tagliaferri (Civana Kuhlmann), 5th minute:
After dominating the first five minutes, the USA got on the board early after winning a long ball. The ball was played to Kuhlmann, who then played a first-time pass to Tagliaferri to put her behind the Ghana defense. Tagliaferri raced in on goal and calmly rolled her shot just inside the left post from 10 yards out. USA 1, GHA 0

GHA – Gifty Acheampong ( Adizatu Mustapha ), 63rd minute: Ghana worked the ball down the center of the field and eventually out wide to Adizatu Mustapha, who lofted a cross to the back post. The ball floated just over the fingertips of USA goalkeeper Laurel Ivory and right onto the head of Acheampong, who redirected it into the vacated net to tie the match. USA 1, GHA 1

GHA – Sandra Owusu-Ansah (penalty kick), 84th minute: Ghana again attacked down the right wing, but this time Mustapha’s cross hit U.S. defender Kiara Pickett in the left hand as she slid in an attempt to block the ball. Referee Laura Fortunato whistled for a penalty kick and Owusu-Ansah took a long run-up before barley tucking a hard shot past Ivory, who had guessed the direction correctly, into the lower right corner.

Next on the Schedule: The U.S. WNT will close Group D play of the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup vs. Japan on Oct. 8 (11:55 a.m. ET; FS2, NBC Universo) at Amman International Stadium in Amman, Jordan. Click here for the full tournament schedule.

Additional Notes:

  • The match marked the first loss in an international match for this team during this cycle. The USA is 13-1-2 in 2016, having scored 48 goals while allowing 13.
  • Frankie Tagliaferri scored her 11th goal in 26 U-17 caps.
  • This was the first World Cup cap in the international careers of Kennedy Wesley and Isabel Rodriguez.
  • The USA made all three allowed subs in the game as Sophie Smith came on for Tagliaferri in the 56th minute, Kennedy Wesley came on for Kate Wiesner in the 57th minute and Isabel Rodriguez replaced Kiara Pickett in the 85th.

– U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team Match Report –

Match: U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team vs. Ghana U-17 Women’s National Team
Oct. 4, 2016
2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup – Group D
King Abdullah II International Stadium; Amman, Jordan
9 a.m. ET
88 degrees; clear

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

USA – Frankie Tagliaferri (Civana Kuhlmann)      5th minute
GHA – Gifty Acheampong (Adizatu Mustapha)   63
GHA – Sandra Owusu-Ansah (penalty kick)       84

: 1-Laurel Ivory; 4-Naomi Girma, 5-Karina Rodriguez, 9-Kiara Pickett (13-Isabel Rodriguez, 85), 11-Kate Wiesner (15-Kennedy Wesley, 57); 7-Alex Spaanstra, 8-Briana Pinto, 18-Jaelin Howell, 20-Frankie Tagliaferri (3-Sophia Smith, 56); 10-Ashley Sanchez (capt.), 14-Civana Kuhlmann
Subs Not Used: 2-Jordan Canniff, 6-Emily Smith, 12-Meagan McClelland, 16-Sydney Zandi,
17-Lia Godfrey, 19-Adrienne Richardson, 21-Hillary Beall

Head Coach: B.J. Snow

GHA : 1-Kayza Massey; 4-Uwaisa Mawia, 12-Cecilia Hagan, 14-Philicity Asuako, 18-Blessing Agbomadzi; 6-Grace Asantewaa, 9-Gifty Acheampong, 17-Fuseina Mumuni; 7-Rafia Kulchirie, 10-Sandra Owusu-Ansah (capt.), 15-Adizatu Mustapha (20-Konadu Adjei, 86)
Subs Not Used: 2-Joyce Asamoah, 3-Nina Norshie, 5-Linda Amoako, 8-Grace Acheampong, 11-Mary Entoah, 13-Olivia Anokye, 16-Barikisu Issahaku, 19-Sylvian Amankwah, 21-Selina Amusilie
Head Coach: Evans Adotey

Stats Summary: USA / GHA
Shots: 11 / 24
Shots on Goal: 5 / 10
Saves: 8 / 4
Corner Kicks: 5 / 6
Fouls: 13 / 14
Offside: 1 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
GHA – Cecilia Hagan (caution)                18th minute
GHA – Grace Asantewaa (caution)           42
GHA – Kayza Massey (caution)               80
GHA – Uwaisa Mawia (caution)                81
USA – Sophia Smith (caution)                 90+4

Referee: Laura Fortunato (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Daiana Milone (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Leslie Vasquez (CHI)
4th Official: Mirian Leon (SLV) Woman of the Match: Laurel Ivory

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