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Monday Morning Wakeup: Jaelin Howell fires U-20s to brink of qualification

Here’s the latest from around the women’s soccer world this Monday morning…

Jaelin Howell’s 89th minute goal lifted the U.S. U-20s to a 2-1 win over Jamaica and a berth in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship. The tournament serves as the qualification for the U-20 World Cup. The U.S. will now have two knockout matches to win one and book a summer trip to France.

Sophia Smith put the U.S. on top in the 42nd minute on a direct free kick that beat Jamaican keeper Sydney Schneider in the upper right corner. Jamaica equalized just two minutes from time off a set piece of their own that was knocked in by Jadyn Matthews. But almost as quickly as the match was tied, Howell finished a cross from Smith and fired home the winner from near the top of the six-yard box.

The U.S. will conclude group play on Tuesday against Mexico who like the U.S. are 2-0-0 and through to the semifinals out of Group B. The Group A semifinalists are also set with Canada and Haiti set to play for the group on Monday and Costa Rica and hosts Trinidad & Tobago having been eliminated. Jamaica and Nicaragua have been eliminated from Group B.

Three CONCACAF teams will advance to the U-20 World Cup. Winners of the January 26 semifinal matches will qualify as will the winner of the Third Place match on January 28. The final is also January 28.

Ertz heading to Super Bowl

When the final whistle sounded ending the USWNT’s 5-1 friendly win over Denmark on Sunday, Julie Ertz found herself more concerned about another final score. While the U.S. was opening the season, Julie’s husband Zach was looking to extend his by one more game. And while it may have been stressful for Julie not knowing there was rarely doubt for Zach’s Philadelphia Eagles who cruised to a 38-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings to book a place opposite the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. The game is Sunday, February 4 in Minneapolis.

Australian W-League Ladder

Here is the latest ladder from the W-League. Stay tuned for Tim Grainey’s weekly review later today.

Australia

W L D GF GA PTS
Brisbane Roar FC 7 2 1 13 9 22
Sydney FC 6 3 1 20 14 19
Newcastle Jets 5 3 2 21 17 17
Melbourne City FC 5 4 2 17 15 17
Canberra United 5 4 1 22 18 16
Perth Glory 4 5 2 22 23 14
Melbourne Victory 3 5 2 13 15 11
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 6 2 8 14 8
Adelaide United 2 7 1 11 22 7
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