The U.S. Under-17 Women's National Team defeated Canada 2-0 to win Group B at the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Women's Championship in Jamaica. The victory sets up an all-important clash with Mexico in the semifinal on Nov. 7, with the winner earning a spot in the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.
Forwards Zoe Redei and Mallory Pugh scored goals in the 36th and 62nd minutes, respectively, as head coach B.J. Snow's team earned its third straight victory at the Montego Bay Sports Complex with an excellent overall performance against its regional rival.
The USA-Mexico game can be seen tape delayed on FOX Soccer Plus at 8 p.m. ET and live online at FOX Soccer 2GO at 3 p.m. ET. Fans can also follow on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.
In the other semifinal, Jamaica will take on Canada in front of a large home crowed at 6 p.m. ET. The winner of that semifinal will earn the second of CONCACAF's two berths to the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup being held next March in Costa Rica.
The U-17s went into the game knowing that only a win would give them first place in Group B as Canada had an advantage in goal difference, and the Americans started the match on the front foot. Snow's team generated the first real chance of a wide-open first half when Redei combined with forward Mallory Pugh in the 16th minute. Redei cut inside her marker on the edge of the box but Canada goalkeeper Rylee Foster was equal to the shot.
Pugh came close to providing the U.S. a lead in the 34th minute, following up a lofted free kick with a sizzling half-volley from the edge of the area. Foster made a fantastic save, diving to her left to just push the ball around her post.
Two minutes later, the USA finally gained the lead when right back Ellie Jean drove forward into the box and did well to poke the ball square to Redei. The in-form U.S. forward stabbed it home with the outside of her right foot to give the USA a lead heading into the break. The goal was Redei's team-leading fifth of the tournament and marked her second-consecutive game on the score sheet.
The USA continued the positive play in the second half, with Dorian Bailey nearly doubling the lead in the 53rd minute. The midfielder cracked a shot from 20 yards that dipped fiercely past Foster before bouncing back off the inside of the left post and away.
The USA would not be denied, however, with goal scorer Redei turning provider in the 62nd minute. Latching onto a long ball over the top, Redei outpaced the defense into the right side of the penalty area before expertly squaring to Pugh who calmly rolled the ball home into an empty net. The goal was Pugh's third of the tournament and ninth in just seven U-17 international matches.
The USA had a chance to add to its lead late in the game when Pugh was dragged down in the box by Canada defender Mika Richards in the 81st minute. After a lengthy stoppage for Richards, who remained down with an injury and left the field on a stretcher, midfielder Marley Canales stepped up to take the penalty kick a full seven minutes after the initial foul.
Richards was shown a yellow card for the foul, and as Canada had used all its substitutes, it had to play the remainder of the match with 10 players.
Canales went to Foster's left with her penalty kick attempt, but the Canada goalkeeper reacted superbly to keep the ball out and did just as well to save the follow up, turning away a blast off the rebound from Bailey.
The USA qualified for its first U-17 Women's World Cup back in 2008 by defeating Mexico in the semifinal, 1-0, on a goal from current U.S. Women's National Team player Crystal Dunn.
-U.S. Under-17 Women's National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. U-17 Women's National Team vs. Canada
Date: Nov. 4, 2013
Competition: CONCACAF U-17 Women's Championship - Group B
Venue: Montego Bay Sports Complex; Montego Bay, Jamaica
Kickoff: 6 p.m. CT
Weather: 82 degrees, humid
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
CAN 0 0 0
USA: 1-Lauren Rood; 10-Ellie Jean (capt.), 9-Zoe Morse, 6-Natalie Jacobs, 12-Tegan McGrady; 4-Marley Canales, 2-Dorian Bailey, 19-Anika Rodriguez (14-Taylor Racioppi, 60); 8-Kelcie Hedge, 15-Zoe Redei (7-Mia Gyau, 78), 17-Mallory Pugh (22-Maddy Schultz, 90+5)
Substitutions Not Used: 3-Madison Haley, 5-Gabriella Carreiro, 11-Civana Kuhlmann, 13-Taylor Otto, 18-Katherine Hess, 25-Frankie Tagliaferri
Head coach: B.J. Snow
CAN: 1-Rylee Foster; 2-Simmrin Dhaliwal, 3-Rachel Jones, 5-Mika Richards, 6-Bianca St-Georges; 4-Karima Lemire (14-Jenna Baxter, 80), 8-Jessie Fleming, 10-Sarah Kinzner (16-Sarah Stratigakis, 65), 7-Marie Levasseur; 9-Emily Borgmann (19-Jessica Lisi, 69), 11-Marie-Mychèle Mètivief
Substitutions not used: 12-Easther Mayi Kith, 13-Avery Lakeman, 15-Nadia Pestell, 17-Anyssa Ibrahim, 18-Devon Kerr, 20-Nadya Gill
Head coach: Beverly Priestman
Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 14 / 5
Shots on Goal: 7 / 2
Saves: 2 / 5
Corner Kicks: 3 / 1
Fouls: 4 / 8
Offside: 3 / 1