COUVA, Trinidad & Tobago — Second-half substitute Jaelin Howell scored in the 89th minute to boost the United States (2W-0D-0L, 6 points) to a 2-1 win over Jamaica (0-0-2, 0) on Sunday and into a spot in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship (CU20W).
The result means that the U.S. finished the evening in second place in Group B, trailing Mexico (2-0-0, 6) – which also secured a final-four spot – on goal difference (+3 to +6). The North American rivals will meet on Tuesday with first place at stake. Jamaica and Nicaragua have been eliminated from contention.
A late surge helped the Reggae Girlz equalize in the 88th minute. Olufolasade Adamolekun powered a long free kick from the left side to the far post. Jody Brown headed the ball across the goalmouth to Jadyn Matthews, who tapped home from point-blank range past goalkeeper Amanda McGlynn.
It was only the 15th goal the U.S. had conceded in 40 all-time CU20W games.
A minute later, the U.S. scored the game-winner, as Howell slotted home from four yards off a left-wing feed by Sophia Smith beyond the reach of diving Jamaica goalkeeper Sydney Schneider from four yards.
Smith, who took six shots in the opening half, gave the Americans a 1-0 lead in the 42nd minute, drilling a 20-yard free kick over a defensive wall into the right corner.
Schneider was outstanding, making several spectacular saves to keep the Jamaicans within striking distance. Her most memorable stop came in the 14th minute when she parried a 24-yard effort by Smith.