U.S. women beat Germany for under-20 World Cup

The United States women's team celebrates after beating Germany, 1-0, to win the under-20 World Cup in Tokyo on Saturday. Kealia Ohai had the winning goal.
The United States women's team celebrates after beating Germany, 1-0, to win the under-20 World Cup in Tokyo on Saturday. Kealia Ohai had the winning goal. (KOJI SASAHARA / Associated Press)
Posted: September 09, 2012

The United States won the women's under-20 World Cup for the third time, defeating defending champion Germany, 1-0, on Saturday in Tokyo, on a goal by Kealia Ohai in the 44th minute.

Crystal Dunn beat a German defender in the penalty area and squared a pass to Ohai, who sent a right-footed shot over keeper Laura Benkarth. It was the only goal Germany gave up in the tournament.

"I saw Crystal making a run and every time she does that you know she is going to get something in the box," Ohai said. "I sprinted as fast as I could and she got the ball to me and I just squared it."

Earlier Saturday, Japan downed Nigeria, 2-1, in the third-place game.

The United States and Germany also met in the group stage, with the Germans winning, 3-0, on Aug. 27 in Miyagi. The Americans also captured this tournament in 2002 and 2008. Germany won in 2004 and 2010.

"It was a great performance by our team," U.S. coach Steve Swanson said. "It's a reflection of a lot of people's efforts. We had some adversity in the group stage, but the players learned from that and our character showed tonight."

Germany pressed forward in the second half, but the Americans defended staunchly to protect the lead. Leonie Maier rattled the crossbar in the 72d minute and came close again with a long shot in the final minute, but U.S. goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin made a good save.

"Our defense got better and better as the tournament went on," Swanson said. "They deserve a lot of credit, and when I say that I include the goalkeeper. We needed to stay compact. We got a little stretched out against Germany in the first game against them, so we knew we needed to be better defensively and that was a key to our winning tonight."

Klinsmann: We have to fix it. After his squad lost to Jamaica, 2-1, in a World Cup qualifer Friday, U.S. men's coach Jurgen Klinsmann said the 60th-ranked Reggae Boyz deserved the win.

"They were hungrier and they were more determined," he said.

The U.S. next hosts Jamaica on Tuesday night at Columbus, Ohio.

"We have to fix it now," Klinsmann said.

"We have to do a better job with concentration," American goalkeeper Tim Howard said. "To give away six, seven free kicks in that area is not good enough."

"We need to figure out a way, whether it's more width, whether it's more crosses, whether it's just doing a better job of keeping the ball," said Clint Dempsey, who scored the U.S. goal 35 seconds in.

Jamaica (2-0-1) leads Group A with seven points at the halfway point. The U.S. (1-1-1) dropped into a second-place tie with Guatemala (1-1-1), which got two goeals from former Union striker Carlos Ruiz in a 3-1 win at home over Antigua and Barbuda (0-2-1).

The top two teams advance.

In a late Friday game, Mexico, still riding a high from its Olympic gold medal, won, 2-0, away at Costa Rica.

Africa Cup of Nations. Without captain and leading striker Samuel Eto'o, who has refused to return to international duty after a lengthy ban, four-time champion Cameroon lost, 2-0, to Cape Verde in Africa Cup qualifying.

Ivory Coast, the top-ranked African team, got goals from Salomon Kalou, Gervinho, Didier Drogba, and Max Gradel in a 4-2 win over Senegal.

Sounders top Goats. Eddie Johnson scored twice, including the go-ahead goal in the 89th minute, as the Seattle Sounders rallied past Chivas USA, 2-1, in Major League Soccer.

It was the first time this season the Sounders (13-6-8) won after allowing the first goal.

Nick LaBrocca opened the scoring for the Goats (7-12-7, 28 points) in the eighth minute.

Charleston USL Pro champs. In South Carolina, the host Charleston Battery got a goal in the 74th minute from Micheal Azira to beat the Wilmington Hammerheads, 1-0, in the USL Pro championship game.

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