Alex Morgan Scores Gamewinner To Lead U.S. Under-20 National Team to Gold at U-20 World Cup
Dec. 7, 2008
CHILLAN, Chile - Cal women's soccer sophomore forward Alex Morgan scored the eventual gamewinner to help the U.S. Under-20 National Team to gold medals at the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup on Dec. 7 after the U.S. defeated Korea DPR, 2-1. Morgan's goal, which proved to be the eventual game-winner, was her fourth goal of the tournament. Morgan won the Bronze Ball as the tournament's third-best player and the Bronze Shoe as the third-leading scorer.
'Well I think we were happy with a 1-0 lead but once it became 2-0 I think we realized that we weren't going to lose this one,' Morgan said. 'We stepped it up after the first goal and we didn't let them come back.'
Just three minutes before halftime, Morgan tallied the crucial goal when she doubled the USA's lead on a remarkable individual dribbling run after receiving a throw-in from Elli Reed near the right sideline.
Morgan settled the bouncing ball as she spun around a defender and took off toward goal. She spilt two more defenders with lengthy strides, but then almost lost the ball as a North Korea defender came hard into the tackle. She was able to keep control, then beat another defender with a quick move to the inside before sliding to smack a 26-yard shot with her left foot. The ball flew over Kim and into the upper left corner for what surely was one of the best goals in the nine world championship finals the American women have played in during their history.
'I was aiming for the far post, but I got off balance. In the end though that was a good thing because it caught the keeper off her line,' Morgan said. 'This is probably the best feeing I've ever had.'
Morgan scored the game-winning goal in the U.S. Under-20 National Team's 3-0 victory over France on Nov. 19 at Estadio Nelson Oryuzan in Chillan, Chile. Morgan had a chance to score in the first two minutes when she turned a half-chance into a near goal, cranking a shot off the left post from a difficult angle just inside the penalty area. Morgan scored the Americans' first goal in the 64th minute when her thumping volley beat the French goalkeeper from 10 yards.
She scored two goals in the U.S. Women's Under-20 National Team 3-0 victory over Argentina on Nov. 22. The game was the Americans' second of Group B at the FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup in Chile. The win gives the U.S. six points through two games and assures the team a place in the quarterfinal round. Morgan was named the Sierra Mist Woman of the Match for her performance. The goals were Morgan's second and third in two games. She scored the game-winner in Thursday's 3-0 victory over France.
Morgan helped the U.S. double its lead to 2-0 in the 53rd minute when she received a pass and shot the ball past the Argentina goalkeeper with the outside of her left foot. The 5-7 forward added an insurance goal in the 90th minute to seal the game at 3-0. A long ball from near midfield got over Argentina's defensive line and Morgan was again in alone on the goalie. This time the Argentine keeper got off her line quickly, but the composed Morgan touched it by her and into the open net.
Morgan, who has been actively training with the team since April, had already contributed six goals in games with the U-20 squad prior to traveling to Chile. The Diamond Bar, Calif., product had a team-high nine goals for the Golden Bears in 2008, including one in the 2-0 win over Arizona on Oct. 26. She also tallied five assists and led Cal with 23 points.