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Lloyd goal is winner in 2-1 Algarve opening win over China.

Chalupny, Kai power Americans past China 2-0, to Four Nations crown.

Solo stops help save 0-0 draw with Germany to open Four Nations Cup.

Wambach finds net twice, U.S. defeatd Mexico 2-0, qualify for Women's World Cup.

Pardoned Lilly scores, Americans edge Canada to take Peace Cup title.

Lilly equalizes for 1-1 draw with Denmark to open Peace Cup.

Wambach scores three, assists three in 10-0 rout of Taiwan.

Peace Cup event is added to WWC preparation.

Wambach, Kai provide winning margin in 2-0 win over Canada.

O'Reilly, Whitehill help post familiar 5-0 triumph over Ireland.

Germany blanks U.S. 2-0 in U-21 Nordic final.

Reserve Kai nets winner in 1-0 decision over Japan.

Wambach's three strikes lead 3-1 comeback victory over Japan.

Visit to Japan is scheduled, qualifying road is set.

U.S. women

Lloyd's second straight winner downs Finland 1-0 in Algarve Cup.

Carli Lloyd
Carli Lloyd has three career international goals. The last two have been winners for the United States in teh Algarve Cup.
-- U.S. Soccer Federation photo --

FERREIRAS, Portugal (Friday, March 9, 2007) -- Midfielder Carli Lloyd's first touch was a beauty.

Although the United States women produced many chances, only Lloyd could connect, moments after entering, good enough for a 1-0 Algarve Cup victory this afternoon over Finland before an estimated 500 at Estadio da Nora.

As a result of Lloyd's second straight game-winner, the Americans must win in their Group B finale Monday against Sweden in Vila Real de San Antonio, a 4 p.m. (ET) match, if they hope to compete Wednesday for the tournament championship. The top team in the group faces the Group A winner to decide the champion, while the runnersup in each group meet to determine third place.

Both the U.S. and Sweden are 2-0, but the Swedes will prevail in a tie because they are plus-four in goal differential to plus-two for the Americans. Sweden pulled out a 1-0 victory over China on a 90th-minute goal in today's other Group B match.

Lloyd recorded the decisive goal moments after joining the action following intermission. Just as the second half commenced, U.S. striker Kristine Lilly earned a corner kick after pushing down the left flank. Defender Stephanie Lopez sent the corner into the pack of players in front of the goal. The ball was cleared weakly by a Finland defender and bounced to Lloyd, who used her first touch of the game to drill a low shot 13 yards into the net for her third international tally and a 1-0 lead.

Lloyd was one of five players who coach Greg Ryan inserted after halftime, along with Lilly and Abby Wambach up front, Lori Chalupny in the midfield, and Lopez in the back. Lilly came off the bench for just the 12th time in her 20-year international career that has included a world record 321 international appearances and she forced most of the 10 corner kicks in the second half with her incursions down the left flank.

The Americans' best opportunity of the first half came in the 18th minute when Natasha Kai broke down the left wing, cut back and sent a cross to the far post. Her fellow forward Lindsay Tarpley made a hard run to the ball, but her lunging first-time volley went wide.

The U.S. held a 17-3 shots advantage (7-2 on frame) over Finland, which employed an extremely defensive 4-5-1 formation and seldom threatened on attack.

The Finnish had their only creditable scoring chance in the 22nd minute when U.S. goalkeeper Briana Scurry took the ball out of the penalty area while punting it. Finland was given a free kick 18 yards from net, just to the left of the penalty arc. Anna-Kaisa Rantanen struck her shot well to the right of the wall, but Scurry scrambled to make a diving save, knocking the ball down and then over the end-line.

Striker Heather O'Reilly, midfielder Aly Wagner and Tarpley all had decent shots for the U.S. in the first half, but the American attack intensified in the second half when it accounted for 12 shots and 10 of its 16 corner kicks.

In the 59th minute, Wambach carried into the left side of the box before blasting a shot that keeper Minna Meriluoto could only parry away. The rebound hopped to Chalupny, whose drive from the middle of the box was cleared by a defender from the six-yard box.

In the 72nd minute, Wambach created another chance, avoiding a defender while carrying along the end-line in the right side of the box. Her cross was blocked, but rolled to midfielder Shannon Boxx, who had her shot blocked. This time the carom went to the feet of Lilly, whose blast went inches wide of the right post from about eight yards out.

Finland managed just one shot in the second half, a looping volley that went over the crossbar from 20 yards.

Denmark leads Group A at 2-0 after posting a 1-0 decision over Norway (1-1) today on a last-minute goal from Ditte Larsen. Germany (0-2), the world's top-ranked team -- the U.S. is No. 2 -- was upset for the second consecutive outing 1-0 by France (1-1), which had been thrashed 4-0 by Denmark two days earlier.

Denmark will advance to the title match with a victory, draw or even possibly a loss to Germany Monday.

Italy (2-0) captured Group C with a 1-0 decision over Portugal (0-1-1), while Iceland (0-1-1) drew 1-1 with Ireland (0-0-2). Group C members are not eligible to compete for the title.

Notes: Boxx returned to the U.S. lineup for the first time since undergoing interior cruciate ligament surgery on her knee last summer.


United States 1, Finland 0

Lineups: United States - Briana Scurry, Heather Mitts, Catherine Whitehill, Tina Ellertson (Stephanie Lopez 46), Christie Rampone (captain), Shannon Boxx, Angela Hucles (Lori Chalupny 46), Aly Wagner (Carli Lloyd 46), Heather O'Reilly (Abby Wambach 46), Natasha Kai, Lindsay Tarpley (Kristine Lilly, 46). Finland - Minna Meriluoto, Petra Vaelma, Maija Saari, Tina Salmen (captain), Miia Niemi (Nina Hyvönen 88), Susanna Lehtinin, Jessica Julin, Katri Nokso-Koivisto (Kati Hakala 74), Anna-Kaisa Rantanen, Heidi Lindström (Sanna Malaska 58), Annica Sjölund (Taru Laihanen 46).

Scoring: United States - Lloyd (unassisted) 46.

Shots: United States 17, Finland 3. Shots on goal: United States 7, Finland 2. Saves: United States 2, Finland 4. Corner kicks: United States 16, Finland 2. Fouls: United States 11, Finland 5. Offside: United States 4, Finland 2. Yellow card cautions: Finland - Saari 36.

Referee: Bentla D'Coth (India) Assistant referee: Kyoung Min Kim (South Korea), Ja Daw Kaw (Myanmar) Fourth official: Eun Ah Hong (South Korea). Attendance: 500 at Estadio da Nora in Ferreiras, Portugal. Weather: Sunny, breezy, 68 degrees.


14th Annual Algarve Cup in Portugal

Group A - Germany, Norway, France, Denmark
Group B - United States, China, Finland, Sweden
Group C - Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Iceland

March 7

Group A
Norway 2, Germany 1
Denmark 4, France 0

Group B
United States 2, China 1
Sweden 3, Finland 0

Group C
Italy 1, Iceland 0
Portugal 1, Ireland 1

March 9

Group A
Denmark 1, Norway 0
France 1, Germany 0

Group B
United States 1, Finland 0
Sweden 1, China 0

Group C
Ireland 1, Iceland 1
Italy 1, Portugal 0

March 12

Group A
Denmark vs. Germany
Norway vs. France

Group B
United States vs. Sweden
Finland vs. China

Group C
Italy vs. Ireland
Portugal vs. Iceland

March 14
Championship (Group A winner vs. Group B winner)
Third place (Group A second place vs. Group B second place)
Fifth place (Group A third place vs. Group B third place)
Seventh place (Group C winner vs. Group A or B fourth place)
Ninth place (Group C second place vs. Group A or B fourth place)
Eleventh place (Group C third place vs. Group C fourth place)


U.S. roster for Algarve Cup:

Goalkeepers (2): Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.).

Defenders (7): Lori Chalupny (St. Louis), Tina Ellertson (nee Frimpong, Vancouver, Wash.), Stephanie Lopez (Elk Grove, Calif.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), India Trotter (Plantation, Fla.), Catherine Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.).

Midfielders (6): Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Marci Jobson (nee Miller, St. Charles, Ill.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wisc.), Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.).

Forwards (5): Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawai'i), Kristine Lilly (Wilton, Conn.), Heather O'Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).

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