The U.S. U17 Women’s National Team battled to a 1-1 draw against a quality Korea DPR side on Saturday in the final game of Group B play, but it was not enough for the Stars and Stripes to reach the knockout stage.
France, playing at the same time, smashed Gambia 10-2 to surpass the U.S. (1-0-2, seven goals for, one against) on the goal differential tiebreaker after the top three sides all finished with five points in the group. Korea DPR (+11) won the group with France (+8) taking the second spot.
The day started well for the U.S. with winger Darian Jenkins getting on the end of a cross by Amber Munerlyn to give the CONCACAF Champions the early lead in the second minute.
However, Korea DPR answered just over a minute later with Ri Un Sim’s expertly placed shot to the bottom right corner for the net.
Jenkins’ tally would hold up as the lone shot on goal for the contest for the U.S. Albertin Montoya’s side struggled to get hold of the ball against the crisp passing and quick movement of the Koreans. The Group B winners finished the game with 22 shots, eight on goal.
The U.S. did have one quality look at a winner in the second half when captain Morgan Andrews hit a bomb from distance in the 86th minute. The 45-yard free kick shot scraped off the crossbar, and the U.S. was unable to finish the rebound.
GK Jane Campbell, 7: Absolutely nothing she could do on the Korean goal, which was a perfectly placed shot. Campbell came up big on a couple of other occasions to hold the opposition to one goal. Finished the day with seven saves.
D Brittany Basinger, 6: The referee unjustly whistled Basinger for a couple of fouls in the first half, which seemed to take away the physical part of her game. She did well in 1v1 situations on the wing.
D Madeline Bauer, 6: The center back from Southern California was steady and strong against an unrelenting attack.
D Miranda Freeman, 7: Freeman was there with a timely tackle at two different points in the fixture, which denied Korea DPR finding a second goal in the contest.
D Gabbi Miranda, 6: The outside back performed well when she was called upon. With Korea holding the advantage in possession, opportunities were limited for Miranda and Basinger to join the attack.
M Andi Sullivan, 6: Made her presence felt in the second half with pressure up the field and intercepted a few passes. Covered a ton of ground in her 82 minutes on the field.
M Morgan Andrews, 6: The free kick from 45 yards out in the final moments will stand out from Andrews’ performance, but she was solid throughout the contest and unlucky not to break down the defense on a couple of other probing passes.
M Toni Payne, 6: The speedy attacking midfielder was constantly surrounded by defenders and unable to break through the four or five players that closed in on her every time she touched the ball.
F Summer Green, 7: Green will not be awarded an assist for the opening goal, but she did the dirty work to win the ball back, and then dribbled through three defenders before picking out Amber Munerlyn’s run.
F Amber Munerlyn, 6: Delivered a beautiful assist for Jenkins’ goal in the opening moments of the game. Did not get the service to be dangerous in the first half. Drew two yellow cards on the defenders who could not keep up with her pace.
F Darian Jenkins, 7: Classy finish from the UCLA bound winger to open the scoring on the day. Her powerful runs down the touchline offered some of the best chances on the day for the U.S.
Morgan Stanton, 6: Inserted in the middle of the field in the final eight minutes, Stanton was given the task to win the ball back quickly and try to start the attack. She accomplished that a couple of times, but it was not enough against the resolve of the opposition.
Emily Bruder, NR: Only had a couple of minutes to make a difference.
Lauren Kaskie, NR: Last second substitute for the injured Andrews.