September 8, 2012
U.S. women win U-20 World Cup
TOKYO, Japan – Kealia Ohai scored a 44th-minute goal as the United States defeated defending champion Germany 1-0 on Saturday to win the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup.
It is the the USA's third World Cup crown in this tournament's history. The U.S. won the first-ever U-19 World Cup Final against Canada in 2002 and captured the 2008 U-20 World Cup against Korea DPR.
Ohai's game-winning goal was created by U.S. right back Crystal Dunn who maneuvered down the right flank before getting past Germany's Annabel Jaeger and providing a low searching pass into the middle of the box. The ball initially looked like it could fall to the USA's Katie Stengel, but it got past her and Ohai converged to calmly convert with her strike to the upper left corner of the goal.
That goal put an end to Germany's record shutout streak at 610 minutes and it was the first goal Germany conceded during the 2012 FIFA World Cup.
The U.S., which had lost 3-0 to Germany during the group stage of this year's tournament, put together a strong defensive effort during Saturday's rematch. Led by captain Julie Johnston and goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin, the stout USA defense confidently shut out a strong German squad.
Heaberlin had a game-high five saves, most of which came in the closing minutes. Among some of Germany's last-minute chances, Heaberlin had a lunging save to her right against Lina Magull in the 89th minute and stopped Leonie Maier's deep strike that was bending toward the upper right corner.
The win would seem to signal that the next generation of U.S. Women is prepared to take the world stage, with five different players scoring goals during the tournament Maya Hayes (4), Kealia Ohai (2), Vanessa DiBernardo (1), Chioma Ubogagu (1) and Morgan Brian (1), and USA defender Julie Johnston being awarded the Bronze Ball for being voted the third most outstanding player in the tournament
Earlier in the day, host Japan defeated Nigeria 2-1 to win the third-place match with Asuka Nishikawa's 50th-minute goal proving to be the game-winner.