June 20, 2008
CLOSER TO QUALIFYING
U.S. women reach U-20 CONCACAF semis
Puebla, Mexico -- The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team secured a spot in the semifinals of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying after two games Friday night.
The Americans took over first place in Group A with a 9-0 triumph over Cuba at Estadio Cuauhtemoc. Forward Kelley O’Hara struck for a hat trick. Michelle Enyeart and Nikki Washington each tallied twice to lead the U.S. to its second consecutive victory.
The U.S. dominated the overmatched Cubans, who did not take a shot. The U.S. took 40 shots, 20 on goal.
Alex Morgan opened the scoring in the second minute, and the U.S. never looked back. With her two second-half goals, Enyeart increased her tournament total to five, while O’Hara has four.
The U.S. will play for the group title, facing Mexico (2-0-0) at 3:30 p.m. Sunday. The Mexicans recorded a 3-0 win against Trinidad & Tobago Friday. Tied with six points each, the U.S. sits in first place with a better goal differential (plus 13 to plus 10). Mexico also has secured its place in the semifinals, which will be played Wednesday, June 25. The U.S. and Mexico will face either Canada or Costa Rica, the top two teams in Group B.
“Cuba has a young team and I thought they played with a lot of heart today,” U.S. coach Tony DiCicco said. “I was very pleased with the USA and how we played today, but we have a long way to go. Our next game, playing Mexico here in Puebla, is going to be very difficult. They have a talented team, so we just need recover from this game and prepare to play again in two days.”