US Under 20 women win 2012 World Cup over Germany

Published Saturday, September 8, 2012 5:33 AM by Shane Barrow
US Under 20 women win 2012 World Cup over Germany

It was a tall order for the US Under 20 Women.  They had to defeat the defending World Champions who beaten them earlier in the tournament by a whopping 3-0 score.  The team had been coming together though.  Getting better game after game and dispatching North Korea and Nigeria in the knockout rounds.  Only Germany remained in the Final.  Oh, and did I mention Germany had a shutout streak of 610 minutes coming into the match?

That shutout streak was to end though and it was the Americans that would post a shutout of their own as they won the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Tokyo, Japan in a 1-0 victory.

Kealia Ohai scored a 44th-minute goal to end Germany’s record shutout streak en route to the USA’s third World Cup crown in this tournament’s history. The US 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 US 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.

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

The Americans also won this tournament in 2002 and 2008. Germany won in 2004 and 2010.  USA defender Julie Johnston was awarded the Bronze Ball for being voted the third most outstanding player in the tournament.