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Algarve Cup

Foudy, Lilly power U.S. to 2-1 triumph over Norway, avenging 1998 loss.

ALBUFEIRA, Portugal (Thursday, March 18, 1999) -- Some players get down after watching their team concede a goal. United States midfielder Julie Foudy got mad.

A minute after Norway scored in the 11th minute, Foudy came back to tie the match at 1. Fellow mid Kristine Lilly provided the game-winner 10 minutes after intermission in a 2-1 victory over the defending world champion and first place in Group A of the Sixth Algarve Cup.

Seeking its first title in five visits to this tournament, the U.S. (2-0-1, 7 points) takes on China, the Group B winner Saturday in Loulé at 11 a.m. (ET). China (3-0-0, 9 points), blanked Australia (0-1-2, 2 points) 2-0 today, scoring eight times without giving up a goal in preliminary play.

"I was so angry that we let in a goal, I was on a rampage," Foudy said. "The games with Norway are always such physical battles, but our defense did a great job and we were really solid in the air."

The Americans also avenged a 4-1 first-round loss to Norway in this tournament last year, which turned out to be the only 1998 setback for the U.S., which also fell 1-0 to Norway in its only other final appearance in 1994.

A tie would have sent Norway (2-1, 6 points) to the title contest. "It was a match that we had to win against the best," said U.S. coach Tony DiCicco. "We had more chances to score, we had better chances, and I think we deserved to win."

The Americans were prepared for a typical war between the women's soccer world powers, and Norway didn't disappoint, displaying their highly-effective style of long balls and counter-attacks. But the U.S. back line of Brandi Chastain, Carla Overbeck, Kate Sobrero and Joy Fawcett held tight, with some valuable help from Michelle Akers, who won numerous balls in the midfield, both in the air and on the ground. The U.S. midfield also did a fine job of containing Norway's star playmaker Hege Riise.

Still, Norway drew first blood on an 11th-minute corner kick, which was cleared by a U.S. defender, but wound up on the foot of midfielder Silje Jorgensen, who cracked a low liner through traffic from 19 yards as the U.S. defense rushed out. U.S. goalkeeper Briana Scurry, although screened by numerous players, made a diving save to her left, but couldn't hold the ball, and forward Ann Kristin Aarones pounced on the rebound to bury it from five yards. The goal stood despite pleas for an offside call from the U.S. players and bench.

Scurry's streak of 740 scoreless minutes had ended, but it took less than 60 second for the Americans to equalize. The U.S. worked the ball into Norway's penalty area off the kickoff as Lilly ran onto a bouncing ball on the right side. With her back to the goal, she popped the ball back over her head to Foudy, who drove a left-footed half-volley just inside the right post.

Two minutes later, Mia Hamm skimmed a shot from a sharp left angle inside the box off the crossbar and the U.S. had several other good chances during the latter part of the first half, mostly through forward Tiffeny Milbrett. She tormented the Norway defense by turning the corner on her defender several times and running at goal, only to have her crosses cleared away by the scrambling Norway defense.

The Americans’ winning goal came on a counterattack in the 55th minute. Hamm received a quick ball in midfield after striker Marianne Petterson was closed down by three defenders. Hamm sidestepped a defender as she collected the ball and then embarked on a 50-yard run before feeding the cutting Milbrett in the left side of the box. Milbrett beat her defender to the end line and crossed a low ball to the far post where Lilly calmly slotted the ball into the open net from seven yards.

Marking back Kate Sobrero, playing in her 17th international match, shut down Pettersen, who had scored 47 goals in 64 matches coming into the game, and scored twice against the U.S. in this tournament last year.

"Our defense dominated," DiCicco said. "Kate did a fantastic job on one of the best players in the world, Carla played Aarones very well, Joy had her usual awesome game and Brandi's possession and heading were a key from left back."

Overbeck had to leave the game in the 61st minute after injuring her neck while challenging for a header, but despite soreness after today’s match, she is listed as probable for Saturday against China. Hamm suffered a mild shoulder separation when she was dumped by Norwegian defender Gro Espeseth in the first half, but also should be ready for the final.

There were some tense moments for the U.S. at the end of the match when Riise sent a drive over the U.S. goal with just minutes to play. In stoppage time, Jorgensen had a golden chance to put her team in the final, but launched her 15-yard volley over the net.

"The China game will an entirely different kind of match," said DiCicco of a rematch of the 1996 Summer Olympics gold-medal match, won 2-1 by the U.S. "Our bench will definitely have to be a factor. It's very difficult for our starters to play back-to-back games against this level of competition. I'm sure China rested most of their starters today and we are going to look to our whole roster to win this thing."

In the other Group B match, Sweden (0-1-2, 2 points) took third place by playing a scoreless tie with Finland (0-2-1, 1 point).

In Group B, Denmark (1-1-1, 4 points) blasted Portugal (0-2-1, 1 point) by a 5-0 count.

United States 2, Norway 1

Lineups: United States - Briana Scurry, Carla Overbeck (Christie Pearce 61), Joy Fawcett, Kate Sobrero, Brandi Chastain, Michelle Akers, Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly, Tiffeny Milbrett (Shannon MacMillan 68), Cindy Parlow (Danielle Fotopoulos 82), Mia Hamm; Norway - Bente Nordby, Henriette Viker (Anne Tonnessen 70), Goril Kringen, Linda Medalen, Gro Espeseth, Hege Risse, Brit Sandaune (Dagney Mellgren 77), Tone Gunn Frostol, Silje Jorgensen, Ann Kristin Aarones (Anita Rapp 82), 10-Marianne Pettersen.

Scoring:
Norway - Aarones (Jorgensen) 11;
United States - Foudy (Lilly) 12;
United States - Lilly (Milbrett) 55.

Shots: United States 10, Norway 5. Saves: United States 2, Norway 1. Corner kicks: United States 2, Norway 4. Fouls: United States 5, Norway 8. Offside: United States 5, Norway 3.

Referee: Marianne Mattsson (Sweden). Assistant referees: Gitte Nielsen (Denmark), Jose Gregorio (Portugal). Attendance: 300 at Municipal Stadium in Albufeira, Portugal. Weather: Sunny, warm, 75 degrees.

Sixth Algarve Cup

Times are local in Portugal. Times in parentheses are Eastern Standard

Schedule

Saturday, March 20

Championship match in Loulè
United States vs. China, 4 p.m. (11 a.m.)

Third place match in Quarteira
Norway vs. Denmark, 11 a.m. (6 a.m.)

Fifth place match in Loulè
Sweden vs. Australia, 11 a.m. (6 a.m.)

Seventh place match in Montechoro
Finland vs. Portugal, 11 a.m. (6 a.m.)

Results

Thursday, March 18

in Albufeira
United States 2, Norway 1
Sweden 0, Finland 0

in Montechoro
Denmark 5, Portugal 0
China 2, Australia 0

Tuesday, March 16

in Quarteira
Norway 2, Sweden 1
United States 4, Finland 0

in Olhão
China 2, Denmark 0
Portugal 0, Australia 0

Sunday, March 14

in Silves
United States 1, Sweden 1
Norway 1, Finland 0

in Faro
Denmark 1, Australia 1
China 4, Portugal 0

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