Wednesday, January 18, 2006

US 3 - Norway 1; Kristine Lilly gets 300th cap

The US started off their four nations tournament in grand fashion by beat one of the most success nations in women's soccer.

The game was scoreless for the first 72 minutes but then captain Kristine Lilly broke the game open. In the 73rd minute she stepped up to take a free kick from 19 yards out and drilled it right into the upper right hand corner of the net. Lilly, who celebrated her 300th cap (the most by any international player ever) earlier in the game now got to celebrate her 105th goal. She is now only 53 goals behind Mia Hamm for all-time women’s international goal scorer.

Just four minutes later the US would double the lead thanks in part to the ever-amazing Lilly. In the 77th minute she curled a corner kick from the right side to the far post where Shannon Boxx out jumped a mob of players to send it off the left post and into net for a 2-0 advantage. This was Boxx's 15th goal in 51 appearances.

However, Norway did get a door opened for them thanks to penalty kick after a bit of an odd call in the box. "The call came off a cross from the right side which U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo went high to win, only to come down in a tangle of players. In the scrum, referee Zhang Dong Qing ruled that U.S. substitute Leslie Osborne had fallen on the ball with her arms and pointed to the spot."

Trine Ronning put the pk into the lower left corner of the net to make the score 2-1 and end the US women's shutout streak at 1009 minutes.

Norway used this goal for inspiration, but the US was able to change the tide thanks to a great goal by Abby Wambach in the 85th. She chased down a pass by Aly Wagner to the left side of the box, beat a defender to get to the middle of the box and then smacked a shot through the legs of oncoming Norway goalie Bente Nordby. What a way for Wambach to get her 50th goal.

All in all, an outstanding game for the US. Their next match is Friday. They will face France who tied China 1-1 in other game played today.


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