[USA-GHANA] Penn State's Maya Hayes, who led the 2011 college ranks with 31 goals, had a hat trick to lead the USA to a
4-0 win over Ghana in their opening game at the Under-20 Women's World Cup in Hiroshima, Japan.
The Americans were rather fortunate to take the lead in the first half on an own goal after Morgan Brian's header hit the crossbar and deflected off Ghanaian defender Linda Addai into the goal.
Brian and Chioma Ubogagu both then had chances to add to the lead but were stymied by superb saves by Patricia Mantey.
Coached by Bay Area (ACCYSL Mavericks) youth coach Robert Sackey, Ghana had a lot of the ball and even finished tied with the USA in shots at 13 apiece, but it could not put one of its shots on goal.
“Certainly we were a bit nervous," said U.S. coach Steve Swanson, "but that was a good team we beat 4-0 and it didn’t seem like a 4-0 game at the end of the day. We did some good things, but we certainly could be sharper. I think you have to credit Ghana’s athleticism and their organization defensively. It was tough at times. We had to move the ball very, very quickly and they did a good job of pressuring us.”
Hayes put the game away with three goals in the second half. The best was the first goal on a header off a cross by Kealia Ohai from the right wing.
“I couldn’t be happier for Maya," added Swanson. "She’s worked very hard and she’s shown what kind of explosiveness she has. We have a lot of forwards that are explosive, but certainly Maya is as explosive as they get. I think she did a really good job of setting up her runs and she finished some really good goals. She’s been playing consistently for the last three months and that’s exciting for us.”
Aug. 20 in Hiroshima
USA 4 Ghana 0. Goals: own goal 20, Hayes 50, 74, 92+.
USA -- Heaberlin, Pathman, Dunn, Johnston, Kallmann, Killion (Mewis 72), Brian (Laddish 81), DiBernardo, Ohai, Hayes, Ubogagu (Stengel 61).
Ghana -- Mantey, Adams, Yiadom (Ampah, 90), Ampem, Myles, Addai, Addo, Danso (Cudjoe 70), Saahane (Agyemang 70), Sesu, Dadson.
Referee: Teodora Albon (Romania).
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