Women's Soccer

U.S. Women beat Germany to win U-20 World Cup



Just days after falling to the German club 3-0 in the group stage of the tournament, the United States shocked Germany 1-0 on Saturday to win the U-20 World Cup in Tokyo, Japan. Kealia Ohai scored her second goal of the tournament late in the first half, which proved to be the game-winning goal.

Despite a flurry of chances for the Germans for the equalizer, they were never able to get it past USA goalkeeper Bryane Hearberlin, as the American defense held the Germans out of the net, the first match of the tournament that Germany was shut out.

Germany, the defending champions of the tournament, had yet to concede a goal throughout the entire tournament going into the championship match. That scoreless streak came to an end thanks to Ohai's game-winner. In the 44th minute, Crystal Dunn made a run down the right side of the field, cutting towards the middle of the field inside the box. After a deflection by Germany, Ohai knocked it in past the diving German keeper Laura Benkarth to put the Americans ahead.

From there, the American defense tightened up. Germany did not go down without a fight, though, as they came close to evening up the match in the second half. The match came down to the final whistle as Haeberlin made two crucial saves in the closing seconds of stoppage time to close out the match and the win for the Americans.

The tournament was full of ups and downs for the American women, as they advanced through group stage play after finishing in a tie for second with China. In fact, they tied the Chinese women in their group stage match 1-1, but advanced through the round thanks to a goal differential advantage. They then needed extra time in the quarterfinals to defeat the North Korean women, who scored an astounding fifteen goals in their three group stage matches. In the semi-finals, they shut out Nigeria 2-0 to advance to the championship match.

Earlier in the day, the host nation of Japan knocked off Nigeria 2-1 to finish third place in the tournament.

This is the third U-20 World Cup title for the United States, after winning the tournament in 2002 and 2008, as well. Germany came in as defending champions after winning it in 2010.

  • Lorenzo

    Good for them, and good for the ladies program. Let’s hope our full national team women can win the World Cup.


  • beachbum

    Way to represent ladies!!!

    Great game, great effort, great belief in each other. That group shut down the best attacking teams out there one after another down the stretch to win it.



  • jones

    I just watched the archived match and the US showed great poise and discipline to take and keep the lead. Very organized and generally purposeful with the ball.

    It was refreshing to watch this after such a sad, empty display by the mens team last night.

    Dunn, Johnston, Hayes and Ohai stood out in this one and I hope they continue to progress and are able to keep playing after college.


  • WeatherManNX01

    I watched the match, and what an amazing match it was. They played beautiful soccer worthy of the full national team, and I have no doubt several of these players will be showing up on the full national roster in the coming years.

    The German’s played their hearts out, and had they won, the absolutely would have deserved it.

    And can I just say how much better the game is when you see it played so cleanly by both sides? So few fouls, and no cards. They may be under 20 years old, but both teams played the beautiful game better than some the senior players.


  • Matador

    It’s unreal how the ladies overachieve despite not having a professional soccer league. I mean, the women’s soccer program at any level lack competitive matches, support, organization, but still manage to get results. What’s their secret? Do they have have something the boys lack?

    Way to go ladies, at least we can argue to Mexicans that our ladies makes us proud because they won the gold at the Olympics, U20 World Champions and 2nd place in the last World Cup.

    UNREAL !!!


  • agnigrin

    I would have given the Bronze Boot to Crystal Dunn over Julie Johnston. She was the USA’s best player hands down and I am sure we will see her on the National team real soon!


  • Joe+G

    All these players are in college or high school. While most aren’t playing with pros or semi-pro teams, they are getting plenty of matches.


  • Nick C.

    WOO! Nice job ladies. Now someone needs to create a Wikipedia entry on Kealia Ohai. I see a rising star…


  • Charlie G.

    Awesome !

    The USMNT should watch this match before their next game… true heart and team effort !


  • lol

    sorry dude but I’d rather have a competent men’s team than win all these women’s soccer tournaments.


  • Chris

    Johnston was huge for this team throughout the tournament. Her positioning was excellent– so often in place to intercept the final pass or block the shot. She really deserved the award.

    Also, giving the award to the captain I think was a way to acknowledge the performance of the entire defense.


  • MEXICO is way better than usa

    You can’t argue anything to Mexicans, because women’s “football” isn’t even football. It is unwatchable, it doesn’t even count. It is crap. You are not bright at all.

    Mexico is better and there’s nothing you can say to counter that.


  • Alex G

    Relly?, you guys have been playing soccer for what?? 120 years, while the US started caring 20 years ago and you couldn´t beat us, and still can´t, so why don´t you go trolling somewhere else.



  • Mexico is superior to you

    You kidding me? I hope you haven’t forgotten the 4-2. And try beating us in a WCQ in Azteca and not pointless friendlies.

    Wait a minute you might even make it to the hex.


  • dibo

    Did you see the goal by Vanessa DiBernardo? Also a great playmaker. Women’s team, as good as they are, lack a true #10.


  • sciroccer

    WOW! I wished I would have seen this! My daughter and I watched Ohai win her state high school championship live, just a few years, she was so great! And really got my daughter into soccer, I can’t wait to show her this article! Way to go Kealia!!!


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