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GIMHAE, South Korea (Sunday, October 29, 2006) -- Striker Kristine Lilly scored midway through the first half, lifting the United States women into a 1-1 draw with Denmark to open Group B in the Peace Queen Cup at Gimhae Stadium today.
In this South Korean event, the U.S. next faces Australia Tuesday in Chenoan and closes Group B Thursday against the Netherlands in Suwon. Australia edged the Netherlands 1-0 in today's other Group B match.
In the 73rd minute, U.S. forward Abby Wambach outmuscled Mariann Knudsen in the left side of the box. Keeping her feet despite a clip at her heels, Wambach carried hard toward the near post before laying a pass back to Lilly. The U.S. captain fired her first touch to bury a 14-yard shot into the top left corner of the net for a 1-1 tie.
Lilly's clinical finish provided the 114th goal of her career.
Just three minutes earlier, U.S. midfielder Carli Lloyd had a good opportunity after taking a pass from Wambach. Lloyd faked a shot and took a touch to give herself a sliver of space, but hit a weak shot at goalkeeper Heidi Johansen.
The U.S. outshot Denmark 9-3 in the first half and earned 10 corner kicks to none for its opponent, but it was the Danes who took a 1-0 advantage into halftime, scoring on their first venture into the Americans' defensive third.
With the American back-line in retreat, Denmark striker Johanna Rasmussen sent a left-side cross just inside the top of the penalty area for defender Camilla Anderson to drive 16 yards into the top left corner of the net with her left foot, leaving U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo helpless in the 12th minute.
This was only the second time the U.S. trailed in 2006, On May 7, Japan took a 1-0 lead, but three goals by Wambach gave the Americans a 3-1 triumph. The U.S. is 13-0-4 in 2006.
Moments before Rasmussen's tally, the U.S. came up empty on a great chance. Midfielder Aly Wagner sent a through pass to Lilly, who had a free run up the middle. However, with pressure coming from her left, Lilly shot wide left just as she approached the top of the box.
Seven of the nine U.S. shots in the opening 45 minutes were on frame, but Johansen was solid and wound up with 10 saves for the match.
In the 22nd minute, the Americans pled for a penalty kick after Wambach went down in the right side of the box, but no call was forthcoming. Less than a minute later, Wambach weaved her way through defenders and fired a point-blank shot from the right side of the box, but Johansen denied her with a kick save.
In the 40th minute, Johansen retreated to tip U.S. midfielder Aly Wagner's 25-yard lob over her crossbar.
Just before the break, a deflection caught Solo leaning the wrong way, but she was able to recover and make a save.
Denmark did better after intermission, gaining more possession and sending several challenging crossed into the U.S. box, but Solo was active in diffusing any danger.
The Americans had a final chance to win the game in the 86th minute when Wambach dropped a header into the middle of the box, but Wagner's blast was blocked.
Sarah Walsh scored from close range to give Australia its 1-0 decision over the Netherlands, a winning margin that would have been greater had the Matildas finished on any of three open-net situations.
United States 1, Denmark 1
United States - Hope Solo, Heather Mitts, Catherine Whitehill (Kate Markgraf 46), Christie Rampone, Lori Chalupny, Leslie Osborne, Carli Lloyd (Marci Miller 87), Aly Wagner, Lindsay Tarpley (Natasha Kai 72), Abby Wambach, Kristine Lilly (captain); Denmark - Heidi Johansen, Camilla Andersen, Christina Orntoft, Line Hansen, Mariann Knudsen, Ditte Larsen, Janne Madsen (Helle Nielsen 78), Mette Jensen, Nanna Johansen (Mette Jorgensen 87), Johanna Rasmussen, Merete Pedersen - captain (Louise Kristiansen 75).
Denmark - Andersen (Rasmussen) 12.
United States - Lilly (Wambach) 73.
Shots: United States 16, Denmark 5.
Shots on goal: United States 11, Denmark 3.
Saves: United States 2, Denmark 10.
Corner kicks: United States 11, Denmark 1.
Fouls: United States 6, Denmark 7.
Offside: United States 7, Denmark 0.
Referee: Shin Hwa Yeon (South Korea).
Assistant referees: Lee Seul Gi (South Korea), Choi Mi Kyeong (South Korea)
Fourth official: Kim Mi Ok (South Korea).
Attendance: 8,200 at Gimhae Stadium in Gimhae, South Korea
Weather: Cool, clear, 65 degrees.
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