Soccer  > General Soccer  > Mixed results at U-20 Women???s World Cup
July 14, 2010, 05:15 PM
Costa Rica, Mexico and the USA completed their first round of group games at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Germany with mixed results.

USA 1-1 Ghana

The USA started defense of its title with a come-from-behind 1-1 Group D tie against Ghana today in Dresden. It was only the fifth time that the Stars and Stripes failed to win in 25 all-time games in the competition.

The Black Princesses, making their first-ever appearance at the U-20 Women's World Cup, took a shock 7th minute lead, when an attempt from Elizabeth Cudjoe hit off the left post and into the net.

The CONCACAF champion did not breach the Ghana defense until the 70th minute. Sydney Leroux, the Golden Ball and Golden Shoe winner at the 2008 U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile, knotted the score by tapping home a pass from Maya Hayes.

Both teams pushed for the winner in the game's dying minutes, with goalkeepers Bianca Henniger of the USA and Ghana's Patricia Maney making critical saves to preserve the draw.

On Saturday, the US meets Switzerland, which suffered a 4-0 loss to Korea Republic today.

Mexico 3-3 Japan

Also today, in Augsburg, Mexico let a two-goal slip away and had to settle for a 3-3 tie with Japan in Group C play. The Japanese took a 19th minute lead, but 12 minutes later, Renae Cuellar equalized with the first of three-consecutive goals for the Aztecas.

Veronica Charlyn Corral, who scored two goals in the CONCACAF Women's Under-20 Championship this past January, gave Mexico a one-goal advantage in the 41st minute. Just before the half, midfielder Lydia Nayeli Rangel appeared to place the Mexicans in a comfortable position, finding the back of the net to make it 3-1.

Japan emerged from the tunnel with increased urgency, forcing the action and causing Cuellar to put the ball into her own net in the 64th minute. Mana Iwabuchi, 17, leveled the score for the Asian champion with only two minutes remaining in regular time.

"Of course I am unhappy," said Roberto Medina, the Mexico under-20 women's head coach. "In the first half, the score favored us because we had decisively learned to define the game."

"In the second, our pace decreased and we knew we were facing a team that works well."

Corral, who is playing in her third U-20 World Cup added, "We are sad because we were winning and we drew. At times we played very well and were superior to Japan, but we are aware that obtaining a point in the first match is very important."

Mexico returns to action on Saturday against England, which drew 1-1 with Nigeria today.

Germany 4-2 Costa Rica

Yesterday, in its competition debut, Costa Rica dropped a 4-2 Group A decision to host Germany. The Germans struck twice in the opening 16 minutes before the Central American side got on the board through Carolina Venegas just before the half-time whistle.

Similar to the opening half, Germany scored two goals within 12 minutes after the interval, pleasing the capacity crowd of 23,995 in Bochum. The Ticas pulled one back in the 72nd minute, when captain Katherine Alvarado converted from the penalty spot.

"It was a very difficult game playing against a big rival," assessed head Randall Chacon afterwards. "We tried to control them, but when you allow a goal after just two minutes it will change many things about the planned game structure."

Costa Rica, which had five players booked in the match, next face France on Friday.


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