ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada – Ashley Sanchez scored the only goal to earn the United States (2W-0D-0L, 6 points) a 1-0 win over Mexico in the 2016 CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship (CU17W) on Sunday at the Grenada National Stadium.
The victory lifted the Americans into sole possession of first place in Group B, while Mexico (1W-0D-1L, 3 points) and Costa Rica (1W-0D-1L, 3 points) – a 3-2 winner over Jamaica (0W-0D-2L, 0 points) earlier in the day – share second.
In the 73rd minute, a quickly lofted pass into the left side of the box by Kiara Pickett found a darting Sanchez, who brilliantly lifted the ball with her left foot over on-rushing goalkeeper Kelsey Brann from 10-yards out and into the net.
TSG player of the match Sanchez nearly put the U.S. ahead in the 11th minute, but after withstanding a challenge by defender Akemi Yokoyama in the right side of the box, the 17-year-old midfielder’s point-bank effort was saved by Brann.
Just past the hour mark, Reyna Reyes -- Mexico’s youngest player at 15-years-old -- made one of the plays of the day. After powering into the left side of the box, Civana Kuhlmann avoided Kimberly Rodriguez’s tackle to unleash a left-footed shot that Brann pushed against the near post. As the ball rolled across the goal line, Reyes swooped in to clear from danger as American Sophia Smart neared.
In their last CWOQ meeting, Mexico prevailed over the U.S., 4-2 on penalty kicks, following a 1-1 semifinal stalemate.
Group-stage play concludes Tuesday with Jamaica taking on Mexico and the U.S. facing Costa Rica.