U.S. U-20s Beat Host Panama; Advance to Semifinals
March 6, 2012
PANAMA CITY, Panama - The U.S. Under-20 Women's National Soccer Team defeated host Panama 6-0 on Tuesday in its final group stage match at the CONCACAF Championship in Panama City, sealing victory of Group B and setting up a semifinal matchup with Mexico with a berth in the FIFA U-20 World Cup on the line.
The top three finishers in the CONCACAF Championship earn a bid to the World Cup, meaning that the winner of the semifinal between the U.S. and Mexico on Friday at 8 p.m. EST will clinch a berth. The other semifinal will feature Group A winner Canada against Group B runner-up Panama.
The Americans had already clinched advancement to the semifinals heading into the match against Panama, leaving head coach Steve Swanson the freedom to rest some players heading into the knockout round. Swanson gave Wake Forest sophomore Katie Stengel the night off - one of nine changes from the starting lineup that the Americans put out in a win over Cuba on Sunday.
The Yanks won Group B after sweeping Guatemala, Cuba and Panama by identical 6-0 score lines. Stengel started the first two games for the U.S. and scored once against Guatemala and twice against Cuba