ALSO ON SLAM!
Wednesday, May 31, 2000
Canada defeats New Zealand in Pacific CupCANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- Sixteen-year-old Christine Sinclair scored the winning goal today to lead Canada to a 2-1 win over New Zealand in the opening day of the Pacific Cup soccer tournament.
New Zealand's Amanda Crawford opened the scoring in the 55th minute. But Canada's Kristina Kiss tied it with seven minutes left before Sinclair scored the winner on a goal-mouth scramble two minutes into extra time.
"Our strikers are very young and we failed to take our chances, especially in the first half," Canada coach Even Pellerud said. "We still have a lot of work to do."
On Friday, Canada will play the U.S., 1-0 losers to China today. It was the first game between the teams since the American women won the World Cup final last summer.
Wen Sun scored on a penalty kick in the 85th minute. Wen, the Asian player of the year, was brought down by substitute Danielle Slaton and beat goalie Siri Mullinix on the ensuing penalty kick.
"The U.S. were without several of their top players," Chinese coach Ma Yuanan said. "But we are not at our peak yet either."
U.S. coach April Heinrichs had 13 players from the World Cup championship team. Carla Overbeck has a minor knee injury and midfielder Michelle Akers is recovering from shoulder surgery.
Heinrichs called the loss a big disappointment, "but we learn from our mistakes."
Australia defeated Japan 1-0 in the six-team tournament.
The tournament was reduced from eight to six teams after the withdrawal of North Korea and Scotland. The teams play a round-robin format, with the winner determined by total points.