Sunday, January 22, 2006

US Women win Four Nations Title

For the fourth time, the US Women are champs of the Four Nations Tournament. Coming into the match today, all China had to do to win the title was tie the US, however US captain Kristine Lilly (pictured - left) would not let that happen.

The women kept China from gaining any momentum by shutting their offense down. China could punch no holes in America's back line, causing frustration to set it.

The US earned a penalty kick in the 23rd minute off of a corner. Lilly sent the kick in, but Abby Wambach was being held by the Chinese defense, thus being prevented from taking part in the play. The ref called the foul and pointed to the spot. The Chinese were not happy, but that didn't change the call.

Lilly took the pk and sailed it into the lower right corner of the net for the first goal of the night. But that lone goal would not stand for long.

The second goal came in the 41st when Christie Welsh put a pass over the Chinese backline that Lilly ran into. Lilly then beat a defender and lifted the bouncing ball over the keeper’s head and into goal.

The US had several other chances during the second half but was unable to finish them.

In the other match of the day, France and Norway tied 1 each.

Here is the final table:
Team - Pts
USA - 7
China - 4
France - 3
Norway - 1

Here are the 2006 Four Nations Tournament Awards:
Best Coach: Greg Ryan, USA
Best Player: Kristine Lilly, USA
Top Scorer: Kristine Lilly, USA (3 goals)
Best Goalkeeper: Hope Solo (pictured - right), USA



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