[CONCACAF UNDER-17 WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP]Finally, someone figured how to shut down Summer Green, but the U.S. star, who scored 12 goals in her first four games, still delivered a team-high fourth assist with a nifty back-heel on Amber Munerlyn's goal that gave the USA a 1-0 win over Canada in the Concacaf U-17 Women's Championship final Saturday in Guatemala City.
"We knew it was going to be a very difficult game going into it," U.S. U-17 coach Albertin Montoya said. "That's a credit to both teams. Canada threw everything at us, but we defended very well. I thought we were the better team in the first half, but in the second half Canada really came at us and it's a credit to our backs who made the plays when they needed to."
The victory marked the second Concacaf crown for the U.S. U-17s, who also won the tournament in 2008. Canada won the 2010 event after knocking the USA out in the semifinals.
The USA scored in the 21st minute when defender Maddie Bauer knocked a long service up the middle to Green, who coolly back-heeled the ball to Munerlyn making a run through the Canadian back line. Munerlyn beat two Canada defenders with speed and calmly lifted the ball just to the right of the advancing keeper Kailen Sheridan's shoulder and into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
The goal was Munerlyn's first goal of the tournament for the USA, which outscored its opponents 26-0 in five games.
For the first time in the tournament, however, the USA was outshot as Canada finished with a 13-10 edge in shots.
Mexico defeated Panama 6-0 in the third-place match to earn the third and final Concacaf berth to the 2012 U-17 Women's World Cup later this year in Azerbaijan.
May 12 in Guatemala City
USA 1 Canada 0.Goal: Munerlyn (Green) 21.
USA --Campbell; Basinger, Bauer, Freeman, Miranda (Raben, 85); Andrews, Robinson (Kaskie, 54), Stanton; Munerlyn, Green, Purce (Bruder, 64).
Canada --Sheridan; Agnew (Dhanda, 79), Iozzi, Clarke, Quinn, Lawrence, Pierre-Louis (Prince, 46), Sanderson, Buchanan, Pongetti, Loncar (Staub, 67).
Referee:Alicia Villatoro (Guatemala).