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U.S. women's soccer wins 5th Algarve Cup
Latest Updated by 2007-03-16 09:16:41
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The U.S. women's soccer team became a five-time winner of the Algarve Cup after defeating Denmark 2-0 Wednesday in Vila Real de Santo Antonio, Portugal, on goals by Kristine Lilly and Carli Lloyd.

Lilly scored in the 12th minute after Abby Wambach chipped the ball over the defense. Goalkeeper Heidi Johansen came off her line and Lilly, the U.S. captain, scored from 24 yards, her 119th international goal.

Lloyd scored her fourth goal in four games from 30 yards in the 51st minute. Her shot hit the bottom of the crossbar, bounced down and back up into the roof of the net.

"It gives us confidence, and that's what we need right now, confidence going into training for the next four or five months to get ready for the World Cup," Lilly said.

Lloyd, who entered the tournament with one international goal in 24 international appearances, was top scorer at the tournament and was selected Most Valuable Player, an award previously won by Shannon Boxx (twice) and Tiffeny Milbrett.

The United States also won the Algarve Cup in 2000 and from 2003-2005. In January, the Americans beat host China 2-0 on their way to winning the Four Nations Tournament. U.S. coach Greg Ryan added more veteran players to his roster for this tournament.

"We're very happy to win this tournament again and build confidence for our young team," Ryan said. "These were also the first games (of 2007) for some of our top players, so this was a good beginning for us. In terms of the game, I think we dominated the play. We had most of the chances and could have scored more goals than we did."

Teams are preparing for the Women's World Cup, to be played in China from Sept. 10-30.

"We're very confident that we can go all the way in the tournament with this young team, but now you have to go there and do it," Ryan said. "Talking about it does nothing for us."

The Americans have upcoming exhibition games against Mexico (April 14 at Foxborough, Mass.), Canada (May 12 at Frisco, Texas), China (June 16 at Cleveland) and Brazil (June 23 at East Rutherford, N.J.). They also plan additional games on July 14 and 28, and Aug. 12 and 25.

Sweden beat France 3-1 in the third-place game, Norway defeated Finland 2-0 to finish fifth, Italy upset defending World Cup champion Germany 1-0 for seventh and Iceland beat China 4-1 for ninth. Ireland beat Portugal 5-4 on penalty kicks after a 0-0 tie to finish 11th.

Editor: Donald

By: Source:China View website
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