Amber Munerlyn's 21st-minute goal off of a breakaway set up with an assist from Summer Green proved to be the difference as the U.S. Under-17 Women's National Team withstood a frenetic finish to defeat Canada 1-0 on Saturday in Guatemala to win the 2012 CONCACAF U-17 Women's Championship.
"We knew it was going to be a very difficult game going into it," U.S. U-17 Women's National Team head coach Albertin Montoya said. "That's a credit to both teams. Canada threw everything at us, but we defended very well. I thought we were the better team in the first half, but in the second half Canada really came at us and it's a credit to our backs who made the plays when they needed to."
The victory marks the second CONCACAF crown for the U.S. U-17s, which also won the tournament in 2008. Canada took first place in the 2010 event.
In a game that featured end-to-end play from the two 2012 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup-bound sides, who had earned their berths to Azerbaijan through semifinal victories on May 10, the USA faced a team that was equal to the task.
The USA had the better of the chances in the first half and was able to manufacture Munerlyn's goal. The play started when defender Maddie Bauer knocked a long service up the middle to Green, who coolly back-heeled the ball to Munerlyn making a run through the Canadian back line. Munerlyn beat two Canada defenders with speed, and with goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan closing the distance fast, she calmly lifted the ball just to the right of the 'keeper's shoulder and into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
The score marked Munerlyn's first goal of the tournament as she became the 10th different U.S. player to score for the USA in Guatemala. In total, the U.S. outscored its opponents 26-0 at the 2012 CONCACAF U-17 Women's Championship
The USA will now begin to focus on the third FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup that will be staged in Azerbaijan from Sept. 22 to Oct. 13. The USA, Canada and Mexico join Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria from Africa, China PR, Japan and Korea DPR from Asia, New Zealand from Oceania and Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay from South America. The 16-team field also includes host Azerbaijan with the remaining two teams from Europe still to be determined.
- U.S. Under-17 Women's National Team Match Report -
Match: United States U-17 Women's National Team vs. Canada U-17 WNT
Date: May 12, 2012
Competition: 2012 CONCACAF U-17 Women's Championship - Championship
Venue: Estadio Cementos Progreso; Guatemala City, Guatemala
Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. MT (6:30 p.m. ET)
Weather: 70 degrees, warm, breezy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 _ F
USA 1 0 _ 1
CAN 0 0 _ 0
USA - Amber Munerlyn (Summer Green) 21st minute
USA: 1-Jane Campbell; 3-Brittany Basinger, 5-Maddie Bauer, 16-Mandy Freeman, 6-Gabbi Miranda (2-Lizzy Raben, 85); 10-Morgan Andrews (capt.), 17-Sarah Robinson (14-Lauren Kaskie, 54), 11-Morgan Stanton; 4-Amber Munerlyn, 8-Summer Green, 15-Margaret Purce (9-Emily Bruder, 64)
Subs Not Used: 7-Andi Sullivan, 13-Darian Jenkins, 18-Cassie Miller, 19-Toni Payne
Not Available: 12-Joanna Boyles, 20-Morgan Reid
Head Coach: Albertin Montoya
CAN: 1-Kailen Sheridan; 2-Lindsay Agnew (8-Jasmin Dhanda, 79), 3-Madeline Iozzi, 4-Summer Clarke, 5-Rebecca Quinn, 7-Ashley Lawrence (capt.), 9-Amandine Pierre-Louis (11-Nichelle Prince, 46), 10-Valerie Sanderson, 12-Kadeisha Buchanan, 14-Rebecca Pongetti, 19-Nicole Loncar (20-Larisa Staub, 67)
Subs Not Used: 6-Sabrina Santarossa, 13-Elissa Neff, 15-Victoria Pickett, 18-Taylor Bucklin
Not Available: 16-Carley Radomski, 17-Kajal Parmar
Head Coach: Bryan Rosenfeld
Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 10 / 13
Shots on Goal: 5 / 2
Saves: 2 / 4
Corner Kicks: 3 / 7
Fouls: 6 / 8
Offside: 2 / 1