MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay – The United States was knocked out of the Under-17 Women’s World Cup via a 4-0 loss to Germany in the final Group C match for both teams Wednesday.
Both teams entered the game needing a win to qualify for the quarterfinals, but the Germans were far more efficient in their finishing and advanced as first place in the group along with second-place North Korea.
The Americans finished the tournament at 1-2, one of the worst showings at a U-17 Women’s World Cup.
The USA finished the game with 10 players after defender Talia DellePeruta was sent off in the 82nd minute after receiving her second yellow card.
After the USA gave up a goal on Vanessa Fudalla’s direct free kick in the fourth minute, the Americans put together an energetic response. The USA would have had a comfortable lead in the first half if not for some less-than-sharp finishing and a stellar performance from six-foot goalkeeper Wiebke Willebrandt.
“I’m so proud of our team’s performance,” head coach Mark Carr said. “The way we played, the chances we created, the brand of soccer we played, how aggressive we were for 90 minutes, even when we were down a player, we didn’t stop. While it’s the end of this journey for our players, it’s just the beginning. They will fly with their wings wide. I’m a very proud coach of our team today.”
He would have been prouder if the Americans had found the net and had kept the Germans out of theirs.
The USA’s long day began in the fifth minute as forward Isabella D’Aquila shot high on a point-blank chance after midfielder Mia Fishel played a pass back to her in the seam. Three minutes later, D’Aquila raced into the penalty area on the left side and played a pass to forward Trinity Rodman, who had a wide-open shot. Willebrandt, however, made a spectacular one-handed save.
In the 13th minute, midfielder Sophia Jones intercepted a pass in the attacking third and two quick passes got D’Aquila in behind the defense. She put her one-on-one chance low and on frame, but Willebrandt made a brilliant kick save.
Five minutes later, the USA took a tricky free kick, passing from the left side to forward Jordan Canniff inside the box. It caught the Germans off guard, and Canniff had an open shot from a tough angle, that hit the outside of the left post.
Willebrandt came up big again in the 27th minute, making a point-blank save on Canniff inside the six-yard box after a cross was flighted in from the right flank and bounced before Canniff volleyed it on frame.
Germany scored its second goal on its second shot on goal in the 32nd minute via Shekiera Martinez’s counter-attack goal off a breakaway.
The USA finally put the ball in the net in the first minute of first-half stoppage time through D’Aquila, but it was waved off for a handball on D’Aquila before she shot.
The Americans started the second half once again on the front foot. Fishel worked herself free in the right side of the penalty area in the 49th minute, but shot just wide of the left post.
The U.S. continued to push forward for a goal but could not produce one.
Germany, again on a counter-attack, earned a questionable penalty kick in the 64th minute. Ivana Fuso took it as goalkeeper Angelina Anderson saved the shot with a dive to her right to keep the USA alive. The U.S. pushed forward after the save, but Germany countered right back and seconds later made it 3-0 on Martinez’s second goal in the 65th minute to effectively put the match away.
In the 87th minute, Rodman worked herself free inside the penalty area, but her shot bounced off the inside left post and rolled out of danger, a last sign that it was not to be the USA’s day.
Germany added yet another counter-attack goal, this one by Laura Donhauser, in the dying seconds for the final margin.