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Aug. 20, 2012

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Watch USA-Ghana Replay on ESPN3

HIROSHIMA, Japan – The United States won its opening game at the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, downing Ghana 4-0 Monday at the Hiroshima Big Arch Stadium. The team, directed by Virginia head coach Steve Swanson and featuring Cavalier sophomore midfielder Morgan Brian, is tied with Germany atop Group D after one game.

Brian started in midfield for the United States and played 81 minutes. She was involved in the Americans’ first goal of the game in the 20th minute. Brian’s header off a corner kick hit the bottom of the crossbar. The rebound came off the bar and bounced off a Ghana defender and into the net, credited as an own goal.

The final three goals were scored by Penn State forward Maya Hayes.

“Certainly we were a bit nervous, but that was a good team we beat 4-0 and it didn’t seem like a 4-0 game at the end of the day,” said Swanson. “We did some good things, but we certainly could be sharper. I think you have to credit Ghana’s athleticism and their organization defensively. It was tough at times. We had to move the ball very, very quickly and they did a good job of pressuring us. We scored some good goals and there were some bits and pieces where we did some really good things, combined well, got behind them and got some chances. But we know we can get better. I think we’ll learn more each game.”

The USA will next face China at 5:50 a.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 23. The match will be broadcast live on ESPNU and ESPN3.

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