HIROSHIMA, JAPAN - The U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team dominated China PR in almost all aspects during its Group D match of the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup but only came away with one point in a 1-1 draw on Thursday at Hiroshima Big Arch Stadium. University of North Carolina junior forward Kealia Ohai provided the assist on the equalizing goal late in the first half of the match.
The USA inched a bit closer to a quarterfinal berth with the draw and now sits in second place in Group D with four points. Germany defeated Ghana 1-0 in the first match of the evening to take the lead in the group with six points and clinch a quarterfinal berth. China (1 point) sits in third place while Ghana was eliminated after losing its second straight match.
In addition to Ohai's key contribution to earning the draw, two other Tar Heels played major roles in the game. Junior Crystal Dunn continued her stellar defensive work, playing all 90 minutes on the back line for the U.S. Carolina freshman Bryane Heaberling went the whole way in goal for the second successive game for the American side.
On Wednesday, UNC freshman defender Katie Bowen also played all 90 minutes for the second successive game for the New Zealand U20 Team. The Football Ferns battled to a 2-2 tie with Japan and are tied for first place in Group A heading into their final match of group play against Mexico.
The USA can advance to the quarterfinals with a win or a draw against Germany in their final Group D match on Monday, Aug. 27, at Miyagi Stadium in Rifu, Japan. The match, which features the event's only two-time champions in the USA (2002 U-19 and 2008 U-20 titles) and Germany (2004 U-19 and 2010 U-20 crowns), will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and ESPN3 starting at 2:50 a.m. ET. Fans can also follow the match on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.
China PR didn't threaten the U.S. goal for the first 18 minutes of the match, but Shen Lil buried the team's first opportunity to take an early 1-0 lead. Lil received a cross from Han Jiayuan and buried her 19th-minute strike into the upper left corner past a helpless Bryane Heaberlin.
The U.S., which outshot China 17-3, created several chances from the left side and finally equalized in the 36th minute when Kealia Ohai got past her defender and from the end line dished to Hayes, who put a right-footed touch on the ball past China PR goalkeeper Shen Li. The goal was Hayes' fourth of the tournament and her 16th international tally.
The USA nearly found the go-ahead goal in the 52nd minute off of Vanessa DiBernardo's corner kick, but U.S. captain Julie Johnston's shot hit the right post and China defender Liu Shanshan cleared the ball near the goal line.
- The U.S. U-20 WNT moves to 14-1-1 in international play in 2012.
- U.S. head coach Steve Swanson made a couple of starting lineup changes from the team's opening 4-0 win against Ghana on Monday. Forward Kelly Cobb made her debut in the U-20 World Cup and Cari Roccaro got the start in the back.
- Becca Wann made her U-20 World Cup debut, coming in for Maya Hayes in the 86th minute.
- Unlike the USA's first match against Ghana, which kicked off in the afternoon locally, Thursday's match started at 7 p.m. local. That provided a cooler environment for the U.S. and China, though temperatures were still in the mid-80s.
- China PR goalkeeper Shen Li made a game-high seven saves and USA goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin had one save.
- The U.S. has allowed only four goals this year in 15 international matches.
- Heading into Thursday's match, China PR represented the only team that the U.S. failed to score against in a FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup. In the 2006 semifinals, China prevailed in penalties after the two sides played to a scoreless draw through regulation and overtime. In 2008, China PR won its group match against the USA 2-0.
- In Thursday's other Group D match, Lina Magull scored the game-winner in second-half stoppage time to lead Germany to a quarterfinal berth past Ghana.
- U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team Match Report -
Match: United States U-20 Women's National Team vs. China
Date: Aug. 23, 2012
Competition: 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup; Group D
Venue: Hiroshima Big Arch Stadium; Hiroshima, Japan
Kickoff: 6 a.m. ET (7 p.m. local)
Weather: 84 degrees, hot and humid
1 2 F
USA 1 0 1
CHN 1 0 1
CHN - Shen Lil (Han Jiayuan) 19th minute USA - Maya Hayes (Kealia Ohai) 36
Lineups: USA: 1-Bryane Heaberlin; 4-Crystal Dunn, 8-Julie Johnston (capt.), 3-Cari Roccaro, 2-Mollie Pathman; 16-Sarah Killion, 10-Vanessa DiBernardo, 6-Morgan Brian; 7-Kealia Ohai (12-Katie Stengel, 65), 5-Maya Hayes (11-Becca Wann, 86), 20-Kelly Cobb (9-Chioma Ubogagu, 46) Subs not used: 13-Samantha Mewis, 14-Mandy Laddish, 15-Kassey Kallman, 17-Taylor Schram, 18-Abby Smith, 19-Stephanie Amack, 21-Jami Kranich Head Coach: Steve Swanson
CHN: 1-Shen Li; 2-Wu Haiyan, 4-Luo Guiping, 5-Liu Shanshan, 6-Huang Yini, 17-Lin Yuping, 7-Zhang Xin (16-Zhao Xindi, 55), 10-Song Sicheng (capt.), 13-Han Jiayuan (9-Li Ying, 82), 8-Zhang Jieli, 20-Shen Lil Subs not used: 3-Wang Yingying, 11-Yao Shuangyan, 12-Cai Wenfei, 14-Su Xin, 15-Wang Tingting, 17-Lin Yuping, 18-Wang Shuang, 19-Mu Yunrui, 21-Xia Tingting Head Coach: Yin Tiesheng
USA / CHN
Shots: 17 / 3
Shots on Goal: 8 / 2
Saves: 1 / 7
Corner Kicks: 10 / 1
Fouls: 1 / 12
Offside: 4 / 4
CHN - Lin Yuping (caution) 48th minute
CHN - Song Sicheng (caution) 69
CHN - Wu Haiyan (caution) 90+1
Officials: Referee: Pernilla Larsson (SWE) Assistant Referee 1: Sanja Rodak (CRO) Assistant Referee 2: Maria Sukenikova (SVK) Fourth Official: Dianne Ferreira-James (GUY)
ussoccer.com Woman of the Match: Julie Johnston