Coach Jitka Klimkova's U.S. team opened with a 1-0 loss to Asian champion Japan. Following its 6-0 win over Paraguay, the USA needed a victory over European champion Spain -- which beat Paraguay, 6-1, and Japan, 1-0 -- to advance. The 2-2 tie earned Spain Group C first place while Japan finished second after its 6-0 win over Paraguay.
U.S. U-20 WOMEN'S WORLD CUP HISTORY
Year U.S. finish (U.S. coach)
2002 Champion (Tracey Leone)
2004 Third place (Mark Krikorian)
2006 Fourth Place (Tim Schulz)
2008 Champion (Tony DiCicco)
2010 Quarterfinals (Jill Ellis)
2012 Champion (Steve Swanson)
2014 Quarterfinals (Michelle French)
2016 Fourth Place (Michelle French)
2018 group stage (Jitka Klimkova).
Spain dominated the first half, passing through the USA's high pressure, attacking down both wings, and frequently intercepting the USA's passes. Spain went ahead after just seven minutes when Jaelin Howell cleared a ball from inside the goal area straight to Patricia Guijarro at the edge of the penalty area. Guijarro shot crisply from 15 yards into the low right corner of Laurel Ivory's net.
Spain goalkeeper Cata made a brilliant diving save on a 20th minute, 18-yard shot by Viviana Villacorta that looked headed into the top corner. But Spain continued to control the rhythm and scored its second in the 42nd minute when Lucia Garcia's 9-yard shot slipped through Ivory's arms. Ashley Sanchez cleared a Guijarro shot off the line in the 39th minute.
After having only 39% of the possession in the first half, the USA played much more impressively in the second half, keeping Spain in a defensive mode for stretches. Needing three goals to remain alive in the tournament, the USA got its first in the 83rd with a sharply struck low free kick into the far corner from the edge of the penalty area by Sophia Smith.
A deflected 28-yard shot from Savannah DeMelo tied the the game in the 87th minute. But in the remaining three minutes plus four minutes of stoppage team, it was Spain that came closer to scoring a gamewinner -- Candela shot wide after receiving a misplayed back pass from Ivory.
• Smith's goal was her third of the tournament. Smith, who turned 18 on Aug. 10, is eligible for the 2020 U-20 World Cup.
• None of the three Concacaf teams reached the quarterfinals. Haiti finished last in Group D and Mexico finished third in Group B.
Aug. 13 in Dinan-Lehon
USA 2 Spain 2. Goals: Smith 83, DeMelo 87; Guijarro 7, Garcia 42.
USA - Pickett, Hiatt, Girma, Rodriguez (Hocking, 73); Villacorta, Howell (Pinto, 59), DeMelo; Gilroy Smith, Sanchez (Kim, 46).
Spain -- Cata, Lucia, Pujadas, Aleixandri, Menayo; Eva Navarro (Candela, 74), Damaris, Guijarro (capt.); Pina, L.Garcia (Nuria, 59), Aitana.
Referee: Anna-Marie Keighley (New Zealand).
USA / Spain
Shots: 16 / 16
Shots on target: 7 / 7
Saves: 5 / 5
Corner Kicks: 2 / 2
Fouls: 8 / 7
Offside: 0 / 3
Yellow card: Spain -- Bonmati 71.