USA beats Jamaica to clinch semifinal spot at Concacaf Women's U-20 Championship

The USA took a big step toward qualifying for the 2018 U-20 Women's World Cup with a 2-1 win over Jamaica.

After opening with a 2-0 win over Nicaragua, Coach Jitka Klimkova's team, which faces Mexico in its final group game on Tuesday, is now assured of a semifinal spot at the Concacaf U-20 Championship in Trinidad & Tobago. The semifinal winners and third-place team qualifies for the 2018 U-20 Women’s World Cup in France.

Sophia Smith opened the scoring for the USA with a 42nd minute free kick. The USA outshot Jamaica 27-9, but Jadyn Matthews equalized for the Reggae Girlz in the 88th minute. One minute later, Smith set up Jaelin Howell's close-range shot for the gamewinner.

Jan. 21 in Couva, Trinidad & Tobago
USA 2 Jamaica 1.
Goals: Smith 42, Howell (Smith) 89; Matthews (Brown) 88.
USA -- McGlynn; Girma;  McKeown, Rodriguez, Morse; Pinto, Villacorta, DeMelo (Howell, 65); Turnbow (Sanchez, 45), Smith, Kuhlmann (Kim, 77).
Jamaica -- Schneider; Dennis, Harriott, Gayle, Matthews; Clarke (Adamolekun, 55), Grey (Smart, 87), Julien, Brown, Washington; Fray (Grant, 71).
Referee: Carol-Anne Chenard (Canada)
Att.: 247

Both Smith and Howell play for Real Colorado, whose Director of Coaching Lorne Donaldson is Jamaica's head coach.

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