U.S. U20s Split With Japan.
After falling to Japan in the opening match of the two-game series, the U-20 Women’s National Team and Duke junior Mollie Pathman, and Durham native, concluded the trip to Osaka, Japan with a 2-0 victory over the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup hosts.
Pathman, who started both matches on the defensive end, helped the U.S., squad hold Japan to only eight shots, including four on goal in the 2-0 win. The squad posted goals from forwards Maya Hayes and Chioma Ubogagu.
The first goal came four minutes before halftime as central defender Julie Johnston played a long diagonal through ball up to Hayes who outpaced her defender and collected herself before evading the goalkeeper and slotting her shot into an empty net. The goal was Hayes’ 12th career international goal at the U-20 level.
The USA clinched the game in the 71st minute when forward Lindsey Horan received the ball from the right side at the top of the 18-yard box and chipped a pass over the defender to Ubogagu on the other side of the penalty box. Ubogagu smashed a first-time half-volley into the upper corner for her eighth career U-20 goal.
In the 1-0 loss, the U.S. U-20 team gave up a goal in the 81st minute and was outshot 12-8 in the match.
It was the first loss of the year for the U.S. U-20s who had gone a perfect 11-0-0 in international play prior to the match. A slightly sluggish U.S. side battled with the Japanese for 80 minutes before the home side scored the lone goal of the match as the hosts perhaps created a bit more danger over the course of the game.
The USA and Japan – both considered among the tournament favorites – will be participating in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup taking place at five venues in Japan from Aug. 19-Sept. 8. Japan was placed in Group A with Mexico, New Zealand and Switzerland. The USA was drawn into Group D with Ghana, Germany and China PR.
The Americans will have one more domestic training camp before the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, coming together in July in Florida.