SALOU, Spain (May 14, 2022) – The U.S. Para Women’s National Team battled to a 1-1 draw against a skillful and spirited Japan team, who need a win to stay alive for a chance at the finals. With the draw, the U.S. clinches a sport in the inaugural 2022 IFCPF World Cup final for women’s football scheduled for Tuesday, March 17.
After a scoreless first half in which the U.S. outshot Japan 13-3, the team finally broke through on a fantastic goal that saw second-half sub Joey Martin (Smyrna, Ga.) hit a perfect cross from the right flank that was expertly finished from the middle of the penalty area into the lower left corner of the goal by Catarina Guimarães, her 10th tally of the tournament.
The U.S. was in control for the entire match, but an unlucky own goal on a flighted ball into the penalty area tied the match. U.S. defender Cassidy Leake (Murrieta, Ga.) leapt to the defend the awkward ball, but it defelcted off her chest and then unluckily looped into the goal over goalkeeper Rebecca Ostrander (Carson City, Nev.) who had entered the game in the second half.
For the first three-quarters of the game, defender Annie Wickett (Frederick, Md.) led the USA’s defensive efforts in goal, where she started in place of Emily Lauritsen (Omaha) who was held out to recuperate.
The team’s starting line-up against Japan also featured forward Leah Glaser (Montclair, N.J.), midfielder Jesslyn Kuhnel (Panama City, Fla.) and defender Michelle Cross (San Diego), who, along with Guimarães, is the only player to start all three games.
With the team scheduled to play their fourth game in four days on Sunday, head coach Tricia Taliaferro also rested University of South Florida collegiate standout Kat Renick, the team’s captain. Renick scored five goals and six assists in going the distance in the USA’s 14-0 victory over the Netherlands on May 13.
The U.S. is now tied with Japan for second place in group play with 7 points, behind Australia’s 9 points. Because of the USA’s insurmountable goal differential (as the tournament caps differential margins at plus-10 goals per game, regardless of the actual score) the U.S. will not finish lower than second place, no matter the result against Australia. The U.S. is currently 2-0-1 with a +20 goal differential, while Japan is 2-1-1 with a +7 goal differential.
A win against Australia in their final group match on Sunday, May 15 (at 12:45 p.m. local / 6:45 a.m. ET) will give the USA first place. A draw will give the group crown to Australia, with the final between the two teams taking place on Tuesday, regardless of the outcome. All of the tournament games can be streamed live at https://www.esportplus.tv/home.
– U.S. PARA WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT-
Match: United States Para Women’s National Team vs. Japan
Date: May 14, 2022
Competition: 2022 IFCPF World Cup
Venue: Futbol Salou Sports Complex
Kickoff: 6:45 a.m. ET (12:45 p.m. local)
Weather: 72 degrees; sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
JPN 0 1 1
USA – Catarina Guimarães (Joey Martin) 35th minute
JPN – Own Goal (Cassidy Leake) 43.
USA: 3-Annie Wickett (2-Rebecca Ostrander, 41); 4-Michelle Cross; 7-Catarina Guimarães, 9-Leah Glaser (5-Joey Martin, 26), 10-Jesslyn Kuhnel (8-Cassidy Leake, 41)
Subs Not Used: 1-Emily Lauritsen, 6-Kat Renick
Head Coach: Tricia Taliaferro
JPN: 6-Miyabi Hamada; 3-Mai Ohta, 4-Saki Kuroki, 5-Rie Ishihara, 7-Ayumi Takemura
Subs Not Used: 1-Masami Ryochi
Head coach: Yukio Jin
Stats Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 28 / 4
Saves: 2 / 13
Corner Kicks: 5 / 1
Fouls: 5 / 3
USA – Joey Martin (caution) 27th minute.
JPN – Ayumi Takemura (caution) 49.
Referee: Hector Robas
Referee: Ana Dominguez