U20 WNT Continues Concacaf Domination

U20 WNT Continues Concacaf Domination
by U.S. Soccer
May 31, 2023

The U.S. Under-20 Women’s Youth National Team rolled past Canada 5-2 to claim the top spot in Group A at the Concacaf U-20 Women’s Championship. A brace from forward Ally Sentnor and goals from forward Madeline Dahlien and defender Gisele Thompson from the penalty spot, as well as a Canada own goal forced by forward Onyeka Gamero, earned the U.S. a convincing victory to remain unbeaten in the tournament.

After the USA clinched its spot in the semifinals with the 4-0 win against Jamaica on May 28, and Canada also won its first two group games, the match tonight against the northern neighbors was for first place in the group and seeding in the semifinal round. With the full nine points from the three first round games, the USA will now face Costa Rica, the second-place team in Group B, in the semifinal for a berth to the 2024 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

After the start of Group A play was delayed two days due to heavy rains, and the final group matches were pushed to today, Concacaf decided to insert an extra rest day between the end of group play and the semifinals. Therefore, the USA’s semifinal match will take place on Friday, June 2 at 6 p.m. ET (FS2). Mexico will face Canada in the other semifinal with that match taking place at 3 p.m. ET (Tubi). Both games will be played at Estadio Olímpico Félix Sánchez in Santo Domingo. The winner of both semifinals and the Third-Place match, which along with the Championship Game will take place on Sunday, June 4, will all qualify for the World Cup.

The U.S. got on the board in just the third minute as Dahlien – who tallied a hat trick against Jamaica last Sunday – opened the scoring after she sprinted more 20 yards to close down Canada goalkeeper Coralie Lallier, who had the ball at her feet. Dahlien capitalized on a heavy touch by Lallier, got into the tackle, and blocked the ball back towards the goal. It slowly rolled across the goal line inside the right post to give the USA the lead.

The Americans doubled the lead just eight minutes later as Sentnor got on the end of a perfectly played through-ball from midfielder Jasmine Aikey inside the box and finished with a powerful left-footed strike. The USA continued to dominate in the attack and came close to widening the margin in the 33rd minute, but Dahlien’s near-second goal of the night was waved away due to offside by a VAR review. Still, the USA closed out the half with a statement after Dahlien was cut down at the top of the box and a VAR correctly ruled that the foul had taken place inside the penalty area. Thompson converted the kick low into the corner to send the USA into halftime with a commanding 3-0 lead.

The tide turned briefly in Canada’s favor in the 53rd minute after an accidental handball by a U.S. defender Leah Klenke while she was attempting to clear resulted in a penalty kick, which the Orlando Pride’s Amanda Allen converted from the spot. The narrowed deficit didn’t last long, however, as the USA responded immediately. Sentnor tallied her second of the night just a minute later with a powerful strike from 12 yards out following a pass from midfielder Shae Harvey.

The U.S. then dealt damage once more in the 61st minute as Harvey found forward Onyeka Gamero inside the box on the right side. Gamero dribbled past her defender and fired a shot that deflected off the foot of Canada’s Zoe Markesini, over the goalkeeper and into the net to extend the lead to 5-1. Canada managed to pull one back six minutes later as substitute Nyah Rose ran onto the end of a long ball down the left side and did well to cut inside and finish inside the near post, but the USA was never really troubled.

The USA ended up out-shooting Canada 17-5 and poured in five goals on a Canadian team that had scored nine over their first two games while allowing zero.

U.S. Lineup: Teagan Wy; Gisele Thompson (Tessa Dellarose), Elise Evans, Leah Klenke, Savannah King; Ally Lemos (Jill Flammia), Jasmine Aikey (Sofia Cook), Shae Harvey; Onyeka Gamero, Ally Sentnor (Maggie Cagle), Madeline Dahlien (Kat Rader)

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