Nov. 19, 2008
KISSING OFF THE FRENCH
U.S. U-20 women romp over France, 3-0
Chillan, Chile -- The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team opened the FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup with a 3-0 victory over France as forward Sydney Leroux came off the bench at halftime to play a part in all three goals, setting up the first and scoring two of her own Wednesday.
After a 0-0 draw between Argentina and China in the first game of the doubleheader, the U.S. sits in first place in Group B with three points. The Americans will meet Argentina for their second match here on Saturday, Nov. 22 (ESPN360.com, 10 a.m. ET) before traveling to Temuco to face China on Tuesday, Nov. 26 (ESPNU, 2 p.m.).
In front of a crowd 4,300 on a hot day at Estadio Nelson Oryuzan, Leroux replaced Michelle Enyeart halftime and after only 10 minutes on the field, set up Alex Morgan’s game-winning goal in the 55th minute. Leroux then put the match away with goals in the 56th and 71st minutes, just her third and fourth goals of the year.
At the other end of the field, U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher showed why she is considered one of the top goalkeepers in the world for her age group, coming up with two spectacular saves in the second half.
“It was a much closer game than the score indicated and I think Alyssa preserved the shutout with two fantastic saves,” U.S. coach Tony DiCicco said. “Today, it was Sydney who was the star. I have a lot of players who can step in and be the star. We felt that this was the right situation where Sydney could step in and help us in the second half. She was very determined to prove that we were correct.”