USA top group after 1-1 draw


THE US advanced into the quarterfinals of the Fifa U20 Women’s World Cup after a 1-1 draw with Ghana in the last group C match played at the Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby yesterday afternoon.
Ghana were lucky to register a point after an own-goal by US goalkeeper Cassey Murphy in the 20th minute but the lead was short-lived after US captain Mallory Pugh made sure of a penalty to level the scores midway through the first-half.
Both teams played at a fast pace, looking for counter-attacking opportunities but poor execution and some good scrambling defence ensured no more additions to the score.
US coach Michelle French said at that she was happy they had finished on top of the group.
The US will play the runners-up of group D, while second-placed France, who beat New Zealand 2-0 yesterday, meet Germany in a quarterfinal on Friday.
“We know that Ghana would come out strong in this match and we made sure we covered every area because they are an athletic side,” French said.
“I want to commend my defenders for putting up a good wall against Ghana, who are renowned for their fast-attacking football.”  Ghana coach Mas-Ud Dramani was disappointed with the result, saying that they entered the match with everything to gain.
“We gave our best but the AMericans were excellent all around, they gave us something to think about when preparing for the next tournament,” Dramani said.
Ghana captain Rasheda Abdul-Rahman said her side wanted to win but were not allowed to play their fast-paced, athletic game by a good US side.
“I am disappointed with the result but its part of the football,” Abdul-Rahman said.

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