ALSO ON SLAM!
Sunday, August 20, 2000
Canada, U.S. tieKANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The moment belonged to Kristine Lilly, but the player she beat turned out to be the hero of the game.
Lilly put a penalty kick past Canadian goalkeeper Karina Leblanc for a goal Sunday, breaking a 19-game scoreless streak. But Leblanc made nine saves as Canada salvaged a 1-1 tie with the U.S. women's soccer team.
"My goal was a shutout, and I thought it was achievable," said Leblanc, who plays for the University of Nebraska -- where midfielder Amy Walsh, who scored the equalizer for Canada, also played. "So to have that ball go in, especially on a penalty shot, that was frustrating."
It was the first draw of the year against Canada for the United States, which had won the three previous meetings by a combined score of 17-2.
"I think we have made progress the whole season," Canada coach Even Pellerud said. "We are too young, so we need two years more to play even against them. But this was good for the confidence of our team. We know what direction to go."
Sunday also marked the second straight match in which the U.S. team, tuning up for a defense of its Olympic championship, managed only one goal on a penalty kick.
The Americans tied Russia 1-1 on Tuesday in a closed-door match at College Park, Md.
The United States went up 1-0 in the 73rd minute after Cindy Parlow stripped Canada's Sharolta Nonen of the ball and was then hauled down by Marie-Claude Dion in the penalty area. Lilly, who missed a penalty kick in a 0-0 tie with Brazil on June 27, put the ball past Leblanc for her first goal since May 5.
But in the 75th minute, Walsh headed Kristina Kiss' free kick away from U.S. keeper Briana Scurry and into the goal mouth. American defender Kate Sobrero cleared the ball, but not before it was ruled a goal.
"I timed it pretty well, I guess," Walsh said. "I wasn't really aware of all the other players around me. I was just looking for the ball and got my head on it right."
The U.S. team went scoreless during the run of play despite outshooting Canada 31-5. In addition to Leblanc's nine saves, the Americans had a number of shots go just high or wide.
Even so, said Lilly, "I think our team's pretty confident right now. We created a lot of chances on net, and we know we're going to get them."
Scurry, making just her third appearance of 2000 after battling injuries for much of the year, came on in the 25th minute to replace injured starter Siri Mullinix.
"I wasn't up to my normal standards," Scurry said. "That ball that they got the score on, I'd normally get to that ball. I'm a little rusty, but it's all right."
In the 21st minute, Mullinix and Canadian midfielder Charmaine Hooper both slid for a ball in the penalty area. Hooper's cleats appeared to catch Mullinix in the upper arm. The U.S. team said Mullinix was taken out as a precaution.
Hooper, who also lay on the field for several minutes, received a yellow card for dangerous play.