Behind an overtime goal from forward Chioma Ubogagu, the U.S. U-20 women’s soccer team advanced to the semifinals of the 2012 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Japan.
With Blue Devils Kelly Cobb and Mollie Pathman earning starts, the Americans knocked off previously unbeaten North Korea 2-1 at Komaba Stadium in Saitama, Japan Aug. 31.
Cobb—making her second start of the tournament—logged 61 minutes, contributing to her team’s 14-7 shot advantage over the North Koreans. At the time Cobb was substituted off the field, the U.S. held a 1-0 lead thanks to a 52nd-minute goal from midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo.
Pathman—who has played every minute of the tournament so far—helped the American back line shut out the tournament’s leading scorer, North Korean forward Kim Un Hwa. Nevertheless, Kim Un Hwa did make her mark on the scorecard, feeding teammate Kim Su Gyong for a 57th minute, game-tying goal that would eventually force overtime.
Fewer than nine minutes into the first overtime period, however, U.S. forward Chioma Ubogagu headed home a goal, giving the Americans the lead again. For the next 22 minutes the U.S. held the North Koreans scoreless to secure its semifinal berth, in which it will face Nigeria Sep. 4 in Tokyo.
That match will air live on ESPNU and ESPN3 at 2:50 a.m. ET