United States 4, Brazil 2
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ Mia Hamm scored the go-ahead goal in the 60th minute as the United States beat Brazil 4-2 on Sunday, clinching the U.S. Women’s Cup tournament.
With play around the Brazilian goal, Hamm took a left-footed cross from Kristine Lilly and fired with her left foot from about 15 yards out. The goal was her second of the game, the record 114th of her international career and gave the Americans a 3-2 lead.
Lilly added a penalty-kick goal in the 88th minute after Cindy Parlow was fouled inside the penalty area.
The win gave the United States a sweep of the four-team round-robin tournament. However, this win was nothing like earlier easy victories over South Korea, by 5-0, and Finland, by 6-0. This time, a crowd of 35,211 at the University of Louisville’s Cardinal Stadium saw the home team get a serious test.
The Brazilian striker Nildinha scored both her team’s goals, as her team penetrated the interior of the American defense for more than half a dozen scoring chances in the first half.
The win was the Americans’ 18th straight in international play since a 2-1 loss to China on April 25. The Americans are now 25-2-2 this year.
The United States opened the scoring in the 18th minute, when Parlow got the ball ahead on a throw-in to Joy Fawcett, who touched it back to Hamm in the center of the goal area. Hamm juggled the ball momentarily, then shot right-footed to score from about 10 yards out.
Brazil responded on back-to-back goals by Nildinha. The first, in the 21st minute, came off an assist by Roseli, who got the ball ahead to Nildinha on a breakaway past American defender Christie Pearce.
Nildinha’s shot past American goalie Brianna Scurry was the first score given up by the Americans in 636 minutes of soccer, dating back to the July 1 World Cup quarterfinal against Germany.
Nine minutes later, Nildinha scored again when Cidinha dropped a pass from midfield behind the American defense and Nildinha buried the ball in the corner of the goal. It was the first time the Americans had trailed in a game since the Germany game, when they fell behind before winning 3-2.
Nildinha had a third breakaway chance, in the 24th minute, but Scurry stretched high to save a shot from about 20 yards out.
The Americans got the equalizer in the 38th minute, when Lilly took a feed from Sara Whalen from about 20 yards out, turned and calmly fired an angled bullet high and past Andreia, the Brazilian goalie.
In the second half, the U.S. defense clamped down, and didn’t surrender a shot on goal until the 81st minute, when Scurry made a spectacular save on a shot by Fabiana.
In the early game, Finland downed South Korea 3-0 as the South Koreans suffered their third straight shutout of the tournament.
Heidi Kackur opened the scoring in the 18th minute, shooting from point-blank range to the right of the goal off a cross from Christina Forssell.
Susana Heikari scored Finland’s other goals, in the game’s 58th and 84th minutes.
South Korea had a chance to end its scoring drought on a penalty kick by Yu Jin Kim in the 89th minute, but her shot went wide right and the South Koreans finished the tournament having been outscored 12-0.