U-20 WWC: Match Day 6 – USA Loses But Still Advances, Canada Eliminated

On the final day of group play at the 2012 Under-20 Women’s World Cup, the marquee match-up, between the United States and Germany, was anything but a thriller, as the USA’s defensive lapses and lack of attacking prowess was punished by the Germans in a 0:3 loss. In the other Group D match, China only managed a 1:0 win over Ghana, so even though the United States and China were tied on points, the USA advanced to the quarterfinals via a better goal differential.

In Group C, Norway defeated Argentina 4:1 while Canada lost 1:2 to North Korea. Norway, on a goalkeeping error, let in an 82nd minute Argentine goal to make the score 2:1, but a goal by Andrine Hegerberg three minutes later restored the Norwegian’s two goal advantage.

On Friday, August 31st, Germany will face Norway in the earlier quarterfinal (3:00 a.m. EDT), while the United States will play North Korea in the later one (6:30 a.m. EDT). Both matches will be televised live on ESPNU.

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Canada, needing a win to advance, faced an uphill battle against North Korea, but had the early lead thanks to a 12th minute goal by Christine Exeter. Twenty minutes later, Kim Un Hwa scored her seventh goal of the tournament to equalize. Although Canada was out-shot 17 to 4, North Korea would need a penalty kick in the 78th minute to take the lead and sink the chances of the Canadians.

Against Argentina, Norway controlled the match, but could only manage two goals in the first 80 minutes. Then, in the 82nd minute, Norwegian goalkeeper Nora Gjoen failed to hold onto the ball, which bounced right to Yael Oviedo who poached home Argentina’s only goal of the tournament. Three minutes later, substitute Andrine Hegerberg restored Norway’s two goal advantage. Emile Haavi, who is coming back from an injury, started her first match of the tournament for Norway and scored her team’s opening goal.

North Korea 2, Canada 1.
PRK Goals: Kim Un Hwa (33′), Yun Hyon Hi (78′ PK).
CAN Goal: Exeter (12′).
See Also: FIFA.com match page, CanadaSoccer.com match page.

Norway 4, Argentina 1.
NOR Goals: Haavi (10′), Hansen (70′), Andrine Hegerberg (85′), Skaug (90+3′).
ARG Goal: Oviedo (82′).
See Also: FIFA.com match page.

With their wins, North Korea secured the top spot in the group, while Norway finished in second place. Canada and Argentina are eliminated.

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Although the United States out-possessed Germany 59%/41% (17 minutes to 12 minutes) in the first half, the Americans were unable to make anything of that, as they had no official shots in that half. The 0:0 deadlock was broken via Lena Lotzen who capitalized on a pair of defensive miscues: First, Kassey Kallman was unable to clear a pass out of danger. Instead her heading of the ball popped it up into the air toward Lotzen. Second, goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin went way off her line and was caught in no man’s land. Thus, all Lotzen had to do was chip a header toward goal. After the halftime interval, Germany came out with new energy and confidence, and was clearly the more quality team in the second half. Germany’s second goal came off a rebounded shot that Heaberlin was unable to hold onto or parry away to safety. An on-side Lotzen was right there to slot the ball into the net. The German’s third goal came just two minutes later when Kallman headed a dangerous cross away from two German attackers, but right out to second-half substitute Lina Magull, who volleyed home a shot.

The other match, between China and Ghana was a fairly even affair, with both sides having 50% of possession and almost the same number of shots: 13 for China and 12 for Ghana, but China had 5 shots on goal, while Ghana had just 1. The only goal of the match came in the 35th minute, off the foot of Zhao Xindi.

United States 0, Germany 3.
GER Goals: Lotzen (35′, 53′), Magull (55′).
See Also: FIFA.com match page, USA write-up, USA quote sheet, ESPN3 replay.

China 1, Ghana 1.
CHN Goal: Zhao Xindi (35′).
See Also: FIFA.com match page.

Despite the loss, the United States still advanced to the knock-out round via its superior goal difference compared to China (+1 vs. -3), who also finished with 4 points. Germany finished at the top of the group, while Ghana and China were eliminated.

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On Thursday, the first two quarterfinal matches will be contested. Both will be shown live on ESPNU.

  • MEXICO vs. NIGERIA (3:00 a.m. EDT)
  • JAPAN vs. SOUTH KOREA (6:30 a.m. EDT)

In the knockout stage, if matches are tied after ninety minutes of normal time, 30 minutes of extra time will be played. If the match is still even after extra time, a penalty kick shootout will be held. This does not apply to the Third Place match if it is contested directly before the championship final. (Tournament regulations, PDF)

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