January 11, 2014
U.S. U20 Women blank Jamaica to advance
GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands – Savannah Jordan scored in her second straight match, Andi Sullivan netted a penalty kick in the first half and substitute McKenzie Meehan tallied late in the game as the U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team qualified for the semifinal stage of the 2014 CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship with a 3-0 victory against Jamaica at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex on Saturday.
The U.S. moved to 2-0-0 (6 points) in the tournament and Jamaica fell to 0-1-1 (1 point). The USA is now 27-2-1 all-time in the CONCACAF U-19/U-20 Championship and holds a 12-game winning streak dating back to the opener of the 2010 CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship in Guatemala.
The USA's berth to the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup could come with a semifinal victory. The two finalists and third-place game winner of the CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship book spots to Canada later this summer.
Earlier on Saturday in Group A play, Costa Rica (1-1-0, 3 points) eliminated Guatemala (0-1-1, 1 point) with a 5-1 victory.
The opening goal came in the 31st minute off an assist from Morgan Andrews. A looping pass found Jordan, who brought the ball down off her chest in the left side of the penalty area and smashed her half-volley into the upper left corner at the near post past Jamaica goalkeeper Chris-Ann Chambers.
In the 33rd minute, Horan was taken down in the box by Jamaica defender Konya Plummer, but got no call. Several minutes later Horan was tackled near the end line as she chased a rebound on the left side and this time referee Marie-Soleil Beaudoin pointed to the spot.
Sullivan, who captained the USA on the night, took the subsequent penalty kick, slotting her attempt into the right side of the net in the 40th minute as Chambers didn't move.
Two U.S. players making their tournament debuts created the USA's third goal in the 82nd minute. Margaret "Midge" Purce sped past Jamaica's defense down the left side and turned the corner at the end line before dishing to Meehan at the edge of the six-yard box. Meehan lunged with her right foot to toe-poke her shot past Chambers for her first international goal at the U-20 level in just her fourth cap.
U.S. goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland earned her second straight clean sheet, making two saves - one in each half.
The U.S. has one remaining Group A match against Guatemala on Monday, Jan. 13, at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex. The game will be broadcast live on FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Soccer 2GO
Jamaica will face Costa Rica on Jan. 13 in the earlier match for the other Group A berth to the semifinals. Costa Rica needs a draw while Jamaica needs a victory.