USA Under-17 Women’s Youth National Team tied Brazil 1-1 in its second group stage match of the 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. A goal from forward and World Cup debutant Nicollette Kiorpes earned the USA a valuable point.
With the result, the USA now leads Group A, level with Brazil on four points but with a big advantage in goal differential (+8 to +1). The young Americans will look to book a spot in the knockout stage when they conclude Group A play on Monday, Oct. 17 in Goa against Morocco at 10:30 a.m. ET (FS2, Universo Digital Platforms).
The USA was the far better team for a large portion of the match, stringing together quick sequences of passes all over the field and creating dangerous chances while playing entertaining, attacking soccer. If not for Brazilian goalkeeper Leilane, who was spectacular on the night while making six saves, including several from point-blank range, the USA would have cruised to a comfortable win. The U.S. fired 19 shots to Brazil’s 14, but many of Brazil’s attempts came from distance. The USA also took seven corner kicks compared to zero for Brazil.
Still, the Seleção was chock full of talented players and had the first three shots of the match, none too dangerous, before the USA took the game to the South American champions. The U.S. proceeded to fire the next nine shots, the last of which brought the opening goal by Kiorpes in the 33rd. The forward, making her World Cup debut, finished off a cross on the ground from forward Onyeka Gamero, nutmegging the goalkeeper on her first touch from six yards out.
The lead didn’t last long as Brazil answered just four minutes later. Midfielder Carol Chaves received the ball with her back to goal, turned and quickly fired a low, driven shot from 27 yards out which snuck into the bottom right corner of the U.S. goal.
The USA continued to press, creating quality chances, especially through Gamero on the right wing, but were lacking the finishing touch inside the box. Forward Amalia Villareal and defender Gisele Thompson each got in on goal, but Leilane kept the score level with several brave saves, a performance that earned her player of the game honors from FIFA.
Brazil had less success getting close to goal in the second half. Its best attempts came off a couple of long-range efforts around the 70th minute, the first of which went wide to the left, and the second, a powerful dipping strike from Lara, was met with a good save from USA goalkeeper Victoria Safradin. Brazil also had two dangerous free kicks from just outside the box but couldn’t put either on frame.
Substitute Charlotte Kohler had a great chance to win the game near the death as she fired low from the center of the penalty box, but once again Leilane was up to the task, making a nice kick save.
The match was played in severe humidity, and numerous Brazilian players were cramping up from the first half onwards. The USA tired at the end as well, with several players cramping up, and U.S. head coach Natalia Astrain made all of her five allowed substitutions in the second half.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
USA – Nicollette Kiorpes (Onyeka Gamero), 33rd minute – Gamero received the ball on the right wing and dribbled around her defender, making her way to the end line before cutting a low cross back into the box. Kiorpes made a nice run to get in front of her defender and finished with her first touch between the goalkeeper’s legs from six yards out to open the scoring. USA 1, BRA 0
BRA – Carol Chaves (Jhonson), 37th minute – Carol received the ball with her back to goal about 27 yards out, turned with it and quickly took a low, driven left-footed shot toward the bottom right corner that skipped off the wet grass to equalize. USA 1, BRA 1
Forwards Nicollette Kiorpes and Amalia Villareal both made their World Cup debuts.
Kiorpes’ goal was her sixth in nine U-17 caps and first of the tournament.
The USA made four changes to its starting lineup from its opening match against India, with Jordyn Bugg in the back, Mia Bhuta in midfield plus Kiorpes and Villareal up top.