August 20, 2012
Hayes powers USA to U-20 World Cup win
HIROSHIMA, Japan - Maya Hayes struck for a second-half hat-trick to lead the U.S. women to a 4-0 Group D victory over Ghana in its opening match at the FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup at Hiroshima Big Arch Stadium on Monday.
Hayes, a West Orange, N.J. native who recorded the 10th hat-trick by an American player at a FIFA World Cup at all levels, increased her international total to 15.
The U.S. will play China at 5:50 a.m.ET on Thursday.
The Americans' first legitimate scoring threat came on a set piece with Vanessa DiBernardo's corner kick from the left side. She found Morgan Brian, but her header hit the crossbar. The ball deflected into the goal box, bounced off the leg of Ghana defender Linda Addai and ended up in the net.
The USA's confidence continued to grow early in the second half as Hayes gave the team a 2-0 lead with a header in the 50th minute. Kealia Ohai brought the ball in from the right just inside the penalty area and crossed in to Hayes, who got in front of defender Rosemary Ampem and directed the ball past Patricia Mantey.
Hayes netted her second goal off of an assist from second-half sub Samantha Mewis for a 3-0 lead in the 74th minute. Mewis headed the ball from the left side and Ghana's defense could not clear the ball as it bounced once on the pitch. Hayes took advantage and drove it into the back of the net.
Hayes completed her hat-trick in the second minute of stoppage time as Mewis played a through ball and Hayes chipped the ball over Mantey.