• Tuesday Nov 22, 2016

    U.S. draws with Ghana, claims U-20 WWC quarterfinal berth

    Ghana's Faustina Ampah (white jersey) attempts to tackle Mallory Pugh of the USA during their FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup match on November 21, 2016, in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)

    PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea – The United States (1W-2D-0L, 5 points) finished first in Group C at the FIFA U-20 Women’s Championship on the combination of after drawing 1-1 with Ghana (0-2-1, 2) on Monday and then prevailing over runner-up France (1-2-0, 5) on a tie-breaker.

    The CONCACAF champion finished even with France on points, goal difference (+2) and goals scored (4), while the sides drew 1-1 in their meeting. After the points earned from the group games, the teams went five tie-breakers deep before it came to "greater number of points obtained in the fair play conduct based on yellow and red cards received in all group matches."

    Since the U.S. was not issued a yellow card during group play, while France received one, the Americans claimed the top spot. As a result, they will face the second-place team from Group D in the quarterfinals on November 25.

    Ghana took a 1-0 lead at Sir John Guise Stadium in the 20th minute, when a wind-aided shot by Abambila Ernestina from 40-yards out rebounded off the crossbar and then hit off goalkeeper Casey Murphy’s hands, before going over the line for an own-goal.

    Two minutes later, the U.S. leveled as Mallory Pugh received a pass on the left from Katie Cousins, cut inside and struck a right-footed effort from 20-yards out that squeezed in between the left post and diving goalkeeper Victoria Agyei.

    Although the USA was outshot 14-8 overall, it held a 2-1 advantage on shots on goal.

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