The USA won the Four Nations Tournament for the fifth time in six trips to China with a 2-0 win over the host country on Tuesday in Guangzhou.
Needing a victory to overtake China, the Americans won on a thunderous strike from midfielder Lori Chalupny in stoppage time of the first half and an opportunistic goal from Natasha Kaiin the 56th minute. Chalupny's goal came at the end of a dominating first half by the Americans, who outshot China, 9-1, over the first 45 minutes and put intense pressure on the opposing goal.
The triumph improved Coach Greg Ryan's record to 27-0-7 and was made even more impressive by the fact that the USA came to the competition without five key veteran players.
ôToday, we felt we could really come out and just go after China, pressure them in their half, go forward and create chances,ö said Ryan. ôItÆs great for us to end the tournament on this note. They take a lot of confidence away from this, but even in the games that donÆt go your way this is a very important process.ö
Chine took second place, and defending world champion Germany finished in third after recording its third 0-0 tie of the competition against England in Tuesday's other game. U.S. goalie Hope Solo picked up the Best Goalkeeper award, while England captain Kelly Smith was named Best Player.
Jan. 30 in Guangzhou
China 0 USA 2.Goals: Chalupny 45, Kai 56.
China --Han Wenxia, Li Ji, Weng, Pu, Zhang Ying (Li DongLing, 78), Zhou (Liu Huana, 46), Yue (Bi, 58), Zhang Tong, Lou (Ma, 62), Liu Sa, Han Duan.
USA -- Solo, Markgraf (Trotter, 62), Mitts, Frimpong (Whitehill, 38), Chalupny, Osborne, Lloyd (Averbuch, 71), Lopez, Tarpley (Lohman, 77), Kai, OÆReilly (Hucles, 81).
Referee:Amy Rayner (England).