USA won the 2018 U17 Women’s Concacaf Championship on Tuesday with a 3-2 victory over Mexico in the title game. Hannah Bebar, Sunshine Fontes, and Maya Doms scored the goals for USA as they came-from-behind twice on the way to lifting the trophy. The U.S. already qualified for the 2018 U17 Women’s World Cup with a win in the semifinal game over Haiti on Sunday. The World Cup begins in November in Uruguay.
Mexico took the lead in the first half on a controversial penalty kick decision from the referee. Center back Kennedy Wesley and Mexico forward Alison Gonzalez battled for the ball in the box with both players falling to the ground after bumping shoulders. The referee pointed to the spot and Mexico’s Nicole Perez converted the penalty kick to give Mexico the advantage in the 32nd minute.
USA responded in the 35th minute off of a corner kick. Hero of the game Kate Wiesner served the ball in that Wesley flicked toward the goal. Bebar put the final touch on it for the immediate equalizer.
Mexico regained the lead in the final seconds of the first half. Arsenal FC’s Nayeli Diaz picked off a misplayed back pass and went around goalkeeper Angelina Anderson and kicked the ball into the empty net.
USA responded well in the second half with another quick equalizer. Wiesner slotted in a perfectly weighted pass for Fontes who cashed in her fifth goal of the tournament on a beautiful shot to the far post.
GOAL USA. Maya Doms puts USA in the lead for the first time today. Corner kick from Kate Wiesner finds Natalia Staude at the far post. She passes it back to Doms for the finish. pic.twitter.com/uEiWUQzxgC— J.R. Eskilson (@JREskilson) June 12, 2018
Substitute Maya Doms put USA in the lead shortly after the water break in the second half. It was Wiesner at the start of the play once again. She served a corner kick to the far post, which found Natalia Staude. The center back showed good composure to play a smart back pass to Doms at the top of the box. The Legend of Davis placed her shot over the goalkeeper and into the net.
USA held on over the next 15 minutes with hardly any threat on Anderson’s goal. The center back tandem of Wesley and Staude kept the group organized and defensive midfielder Sophia Jones forced Mexico to play an uncomfortable long-ball style with her dominance in the center of the field.
Tuesday’s victory was the fourth regional championship for USA at the U17 level. U.S. previously won in 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2018. No other country has won the event more than once. USA goalkeeper Angelina Anderson was awarded the Golden Glove of the event. Haiti’s Melchie Dumonay took home the Golden Ball. Mexico forward Alison Gonzalez was given the Golden Boot.
U.S. U17 WNT XI: Angelina Anderson; Makenna Morris, Natalia Staude, Kennedy Wesley, Kate Wiesner; Sophia Jones, Mia Fishel (Maya Doms 59’), Hannah Bebar; Samantha Meza (Talia DellaPeruta 10’, Reilyn Turner 75’), Sunshine Fontes, Smith Hunter