Japan tops U.S. for third at U-20 WWC
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USA's Emily Fox (right) challenges Miyabi Moriya of Japan for the ball during their FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Third Place match on December 3, 2016, in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea – A late goal by substitute Mami Ueno gave Japan a 1-0 win over the United States in the 2016 FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup third-place match on Saturday at the National Football Stadium.

It marked the second time that the Americans finished fourth in the competition and the first since 2006, when they fell to Brazil, 6-5 on penalty kicks, after a scoreless draw.

U.S goalkeeper Casey Murphy was outstanding, making seven saves while keeping a Japanese offense that produced 29 shots off the scoreboard until the 87th minute.

Ueno netted the game’s only in the 87th minute with a brilliant effort.  Hikaru Kitagawa found Ueno with a pass into the left side of the box.  The 20-year-old, positioned in the middle of five defenders, lofted a left-footed shot over Murphy and into the far-side netting.

Jessie Scarpa almost gave the CONCACAF champion a 77th minute, but header from two-yards out off a right-sided corner went just over the crossbar.

The loss was only the sixth for the U.S. in 44 all-time FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup outings.

FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup – Match for Third Place

December 3, 2016: National Football Stadium – Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea  (Att: 8,093)

USA-Japan 0-1 (0-0)

Mami Ueno 87’

USA: Casey Murphy; Madeline Elliston, Taylor Otto, Kalegih Riehl, Ellie Jean, Mallory Pugh, Katie Cousins (Savannah DeMelo 69’), Emily Ogle, Ashley Sanchez, Emily Fox (Marley Canales 86’), Kelcie Hedge (Jessie Scarpa 46’). Head Coach: Michelle French

Japan: Chika Hirao; Hikaru Kitagawa, Nana Ichise, Rin Sumida, Hina Sugita, Yui Hasegawa, Yuka Momiki, Hisui Haza, Narumi Miura (Shiho Matsubara 59’), Asato Miyagawa, Miyabi Moriya (Mami Ueno 46’). Head Coach: Asako Takakura

R: Liang Qin (China); AR1: Yang Fang (China); AR2: Mengxiao Boa (China); 4th: Riem Hussein (Germany)

 

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