Aug. 27, 2006
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – Sunday’s soccer action at the Under-20 World Championship produced a result that was both good – and bad – news for various college soccer teams around the country, as the U.S. team advanced to the semifinals with an impressive 4-1 win over growing rival Germany. The victory means that the 21 U.S. players – among them Notre Dame sophomores Brittany Bock and Carrie Dew – will not return to their college teams until after next weekend’s action. The upcoming Inn at Saint Mary’s Classic (to be held at ND’s Alumni Field) includes three teams – Santa Clara, USC and ND – that will be competing without top players who currently are in Russia with the U-20 team.
Amy Rodriguez – who scored in the win over Germany – will not be with her USC teammates when they face Notre Dame later this week.
The United States turned in its best performance of the tournament in the win over Germany, knocking off the country that had won the previous youth world championship in 2004 (then a U-19 event). The Americans now face China in a semifinal match on Thursday, Aug. 31, at Lokomotiv Stadium back in Moscow. Fans can follow the action live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, with a kickoff of 7:00 p.m. local (11:00 a.m. EDT).
The championship game will be Sunday, Sept. 3 (7:00, at Lokomotive), following the third-place match earlier that day (4:00). Emerging youth world power Brazil will face upstart North Korea in the first semifinal on the 31st.
UCLA midfielder Danesha Adams scored twice, her second and third goals of the tournament, while incoming UNC forward Kelley O’Hara earlier had opened the scoring in the 36th minute, with USC forward Amy Rodriguez registering the the fourth goal in the final minute of regulation.
Dew and Bock started for the third straight game, with Dew playing the full 90 minutes while Bock was subbed out in the 48th minute, after helping the U.S. claim a 2-0 lead. Dew had possibly her strongest all-around game of the tournament while helping the defense limit the potent German offense to five total shots and four corner kicks.
The USA ended up out-shooting Germany 15-5 and put nine shots on goal to Germany’s five, but the match changed for good when the Americans struck for two goals in two minutes near the end of the first half. Germany played in a 4-5-1 formation and clogged the middle of the field, making it very difficult early on for the USA – which sent numerous long balls that the tightly organized Germany back line easily repelled. The Germans were looked like they might get the first goal, as the dribbling of Fatmire Bajramaj, Anna Blaesse and Celia Okoyino Da Mbabi was problematic in the opening stages of the match.
The win avenged the USA’s loss to Germany at the 2004 U-19 Women’s World Championship in Thailand. where the eventual champions defeated the USA, 3-1. National teams from Germany also recently had handed the U.S. losses in the 2003 World Championship semifinals (full national teams) and the 2006 Nordic Cup title game (U-21s).
The win victory the second straight for the U.S. over a European team in the tournament (also 1-0 over France). The USA now travels back to Moscow to meet China in what will be the second semifinal of the night on Aug. 31. The win also marked the third straight semifinal berth for the USA at a FIFA youth women’s tournament. The USA won the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in Canada in 2002 and finished third in Thailand in ’04.
The Germans were the aggressor in the first 30 minutes and had several dangerous attacks, but UCLA goalkeeper Val Henderson came up with a big save just four minutes into the match after Nadine Kessler managed to get her right foot on a rightside corner kick. Kessler hit a screaming volley that the U.S. `keeper held at the near post. The Americans answered back after 11 minutes, as Adams put O’Hara behind the defense on the right wing with a great weak-side pass – but her shot went wide right from 17 yards out.
The USA finally settled into the game midway through the first half and the first goal came in the 36th minute, against the run of play. Rodriguez had earned a corner kick with a nice dribble in the right side of the penalty area. Santa Clara midfielder Amanda Poach took the corner kick but her service was cleared and came out to Portland defender Stephanie Lopez, who played it back to Poach on the right flank. Poach took a touch inside and hit a bending cross with her left foot that caught the German defense pulling out. O’Hara slipped in behind the restraining line, brought the bouncing ball under control with her chest and was all alone on goalkeeper Romina Holz. She then hit a left-footed volley with her laces, dipping it over Holz and into the upper right corner from 14 yards out.
The Germans barely had time to regroup when the USA struck again, just a minute later, once again after a corner kick had been cleared. Again it was Poach providing the service, hitting a perfectly driven ball from the right wing to the far post where Adams powered home a header from eight yards out. Holz got a piece of the ball but the shot from the left elbow of the goal box slipped under her and into the near post.
Brittany Bock (left) and Danesha Adams – who scored twice vs. Germany – pose while sightseeing with Team USA in St. Petersburg.
The goals appeared to stagger the Germans and energize the U.S., who had the defending champs on the ropes the rest of the half and should have scored one more in the 41st minute. This time it was O’Hara who crossed from the right flank to Adams, who sent a header back across the face of the goal to UCLA forward Lauren Cheney, but the ball glanced off her forehead from the top of the six.
The entire U.S. team had strong showing in their ball-winning during the match, but none moreso than Dew, who dominated in the air and on the ground by winning countless challenges. UNC’s Tobin Heath played another strong game at left back, not letting any Germans behind her while also initiating several attacks. Virginia’s Nikki Krzysik teamed with Dew in the middle of the U.S. defense while Lopez also was stellar at right back.
Henderson logged her second straight commanding performance in the nets, and dove at the feet of Simone Laudehr in the 25th minute after the German forward had slipped by Lopez, swiping the ball right off her feet. She snuffed her again in the 59th minute, sending the German flying in the air, and also made a big-time save off of Kessler’s blast in the 75th minute, getting a glove on the ball to push it off the crossbar. The ball hit Henderson on the way back, but Stephanie Lopez was able to clear it out of danger. Henderson was also solid on crosses, catching a corner kick at the end to end any chance of a German comeback.
Cheney could have made it 3-0 in the 58th minute, as the USA stole the ball in Germany’s defensive third and Rodriguez sent her in on a breakaway with a nice slip pass. Cheney drove to the net and tried to roll the ball past Holz into the right corner, but the German `keeper did well on her dive to snag the shot.
That miss looked costly when Germany scored in the 65th minute. The Germans had been struck a blow in the first half when forward and leading scorer Blaesse was injured and had to come off in the 33rd minute, but she was replaced by the eventual goalscorer Lydia Neumann. The sequence developed when Laudehr slipped a pass into the left side of the penalty area and the tall forward did well to stay onside. Lopez sprinted to recover and almost was able to toe the ball away, but Neumann slid well and finished from 12 yards with the outside of her right foot into the right corner – just out of the reach of Henderson.
The Americans answered with the second goal from Adams, in the 71st minute. UCLA forward Tina DiMartino, a 62nd minute substitute for Cheney (who had received a yellow card in the 57th), raced down the right flank and bent a cross on the ground. Adams outran her defender and finished into the left corner from five yards out.
The Neva River is one of several picturesque features of St. Petersburg.
The USA did very well to possess the ball during the final 19 minutes, making the Germans chase while absorbing their pressure and counter-attacking. The final goal came after Rodriguez raced in behind the pressing Germans on a 40-yard breakaway. She dribbled too close to Holz, who closed the space and saved her initial shot, but Rodriguez ran the ball down in the left side of the box, blew past Juliane Hoefler towards the endline and spun her shot into the right corner from a sharp angle at the left elbow of the six-yard box.
In the other quarterfinal played before the U.S. match, North Korea used a dramatic 90th-minute header goal from Hong Myong Gum off a corner kick to defeat France, 2-1, and advance to their country’s first semifinal in FIFA tournament history, where they will meet Brazil. France’s goal was the first the Koreans had given in the tournament while the goal that Brazil surrendered in its 2-1 quarterfinal win over Nigeria was its first goal allowed of the competition.
Under-20 Women’s World Championship – Quarterfinal
Aug. 27, 2006 (Petrovsky Stadium; St. Petersburg, Russia)
United States 2 2 – 4
Germany 0 0 – 1
Members of the team outside the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.
USA 1. Kelley O’Hara (Amanda Poach) 36th minute; USA 2. Danesha Adams (Poach) 37; GER 1. Lydia Neumann (Simone Laudehr) 65; USA 3. Adams (Tina DiMartino) 70; USA 4. Amy Rodriguez (-) 90.
Shots: USA 15, GER 5
Corner Kicks: USA 4, GER 4
Saves: USA 4 (Val Henderson), GER 5 (Romina Holz)
Fouls: USA 14, GER 14
Offside: USA 4, GER 1
Yellow Cards: Fatmire Bajramaj (GER) 52nd minute; Lauren Cheney (USA) 57; Tobin Heath (USA) 66.
USA — 1-Val Henderson; 11-Tobin Heath, 15-Carrie Dew, 4-Nikki Krzysik, 6-Stephanie Lopez – C; 19-Kelley O’Hara (2-Jordan Angeli, 48), 7-Amanda Poach, 10-Brittany Bock (14-Allie Long, 48), 9-Danesha Adams; 8-Lauren Cheney (13-Tina DiMartino, 62), 12-Amy Rodriguez.
GER — 12-Romina Holz; 2-Janina Haye (9-Ann-Christin Angel, 78), 5-Babett Peter; 13-Juliane Hoefler, 7-Fatmire Bajramaj, 8-Lena Goessling, 10-Celia Okoyino Da Mbabi, 20-Nadine Kessler, 11-Simone Laudehr (15-Jennifer Oster, 76), 14- Anna Blaess (17-Lydia Neumann, 33), 18-Juliane Maier.
Officials: referee: Jenny Palmqvist (Sweden), assistant referees Maria Luisa Villa Gutierrez (Spain) and Susanne Borg (Sweden), fourth official Claudine Brohet (Belgium)
One of the many squares in Russia includes this one near the Hermitage Museum.
2006 U-20 Women’s World Championship – Quarterfinal Results
Aug. 26 – Brazil 2, Nigeria 1 (Torpedo/Moscow)
Aug. 26 – China 4, Russia 0 (Torpedo/Moscow)
Aug. 27 – North Korea 2, France 1 (Petrovsky/St. Petersburg)
Aug. 27 – USA 4, Germany 1 (Petrovsky/St. Petersburg)
Aug. 31 – Brazil vs. North Korea (Lokomotiv/Moscow)
Aug. 31 – China vs. USA (Lokomotiv/Moscow)