WEIFANG, China (August 22, 2018) – The U.S. Under-15 Girls’ National Team defeated its counterpart from Japan, 3-2, in the first match for both teams at the CFA International Women’s Youth Football Tournament Weifang 2018.
The USA will face China PR on Aug. 24 and finish against the Czech Republic on Aug. 26. The hosts defeated the Czech Republic 6-0 in the other match of the day.
Japan’s Maika Hamano scored in the 12th and 36th minutes to put the USA in an early hole before the young Americans stormed back for the victory on goals from forwards Amelia White, Arianna Manrique and Allyson Sentnor.
It was White who pulled a goal back in the 38th minute after a mistake from the Japan goalkeeper who misplayed rolling ball in the back. White, who was chasing the ball, swooped in to take a touch before shooting into the open net from 20 yards out.
The USA then got the equalizer and the game-winner in a dramatic three-minute span, starting in the 53rd when midfielder Annie Karachi took a hard shot from about 25 yards that the goalkeeper could not hold. Manrique was on the spot for the rebound and easily knocked it home.
The speedy and elusive Sentnor got the game-winner in the 55th minute as she raced at goal from the midfield, broke away from a defender and beat the goalkeeper with a shot into the lower right corner.
The drama was not over as the USA gave up a late penalty kick that would have tied the game for Japan, but goalkeeper Neeku Purcell came up huge, saving the spot kick, and the win, in the 90th minute. Purcell had to make another big save in the first minute of stoppage time as well.
The USA recently won the Concacaf Girls’ U-15 Championship with a 3-0 victory vs. Mexico on Aug. 12, but that team was essentially an Under-14 team made up of players born in 2004 and 2005. This roster for this tournament in China is made up almost entirely of players born in 2003, the birth year for this current group of U-15s, with Sentnor as the only player born in 2004.
This is the second international trip of the year for the U-15s, which also traveled to the Netherlands in June and won (2-1) and tied (2-2) with their Dutch counterparts. Thirteen players on this roster also were in the Netherlands for those matches. Fifteen of the 20 players on the roster played in the first year of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
U.S. U-15 Girls’ National Team Match Report
Match: U.S. U-15 Girls’ National Team vs. Japan U-15 GNT
Date: August 22, 2018
Competition: CFA International Women’s Youth Football Tournament Weifang 2018
Venue: Weifang Olympic Sports Center Stadium; Weifang, China
Weather: 84 degrees, windy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 2 3
JPN 2 0 2
JPN – Maika Hamano 12th minute
JPN – Maika Hamano 36
USA – Amelia White 38
USA – Arianna Manrique 53
USA – Allyson Sentnor 55
USA: 1-Neeku Purcell; 14-Ayo Oke, 23-Baleigh Bruster (5-Aidan McConnell, 74), 4-Lilly Reale, 3-Kellie Pagador (13-Andrea Kitahata, 61); 2-Emma Egizii (15-Tatiana Fung, 46), 6-Devin Lynch (11-Jillian Shimkin, 46), 21-Annie Karich; 8-Arianna Manrique (18-Karlie Lema, 66), 7-Allyson Sentnor (capt.), 10-Amelia White (19-Farrah Walters, 66)
Subs not used: 9-Simone Jackson, 22-Nadia Cooper, 24-Riley Gleason
Head Coach: Tracey Kevins