[UNDER-17 WOMEN'S WORLD CUP]North Carolina freshman Summer Green scored a hat trick to lead the United States to a 6-0 win over Gambia for its first victory at the 2012 Under-17 Women's World Cup in Azerbaijan. Gambia had fallen to North Korea, 11-0, in its first game but held the USA to one goal in the first half before the floodgates opened right after intermission.
Amber Munerlyn, Morgan Stanton and Toni Payne each added a goal, setting up a crucial Group B finale against North Korea on Saturday (ESPN3.com, 8 a.m. ET).
The USA put the sluggish first half behind it quickly, getting a goal from Munerlyn just 25 seconds into the second half after Darian Jenkins had raced down the left side and crossed back into the middle.
The game was a reversal from the USA's 0-0 tie with France during with it was outshot 23-3. It had a 26-4 edge against Gambia.
Said U.S. coach Albertin Montoya, "We didn’t feel the pressure. Our goal was to play much better football than we did in the first game and I think we improved on that. Obviously, we would have liked to have a few more goals, but the three points were important and we go into our final group game needing a win against North Korea. It’s going to be a challenge for us and something our team is looking forward to.”
North Korea tied France, 1-1, in the other Group B game, meaning North Korea would finish ahead of the USA in the final standings if it wins or ties when they meet Saturday.
A USA-North Korea tie would mean the margin of victory in the assumed French win over Gambia on Saturday would decide who joins the Koreans in the quarterfinals.
A U.S. win would clinch a berth in the quarterfinals; a U.S. loss would eliminate it from the tournament unless France did not beat Gambia.
Sept. 25 in Baku
USA 6 Gambia 0. Goals: Green (pen.) 25, 61, 71, Munerlyn 46, Stanton 83, Payne 86.
USA --Campbell (Miller, 46); Reid, Bauer, Raben, Basinger; Sullivan, Payne, Stanton; Green (Kaskie, 82), Munerlyn (Bruder, 70), Jenkins.
Gambia --Gaye; Jarju, Tamba (Nyassi, 63), Jatta, Fatty; Colley (Malack, 72), Darboe, Sissohore, Sanneh; Tamba, Demba (Jallow, 55).