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USA dumps Hope and claims third
by Ridge Mahoney, October 1st, 2007 7AM
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TAGS:  women's national team, women's world cup

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A meeting between U.S. players and head coach Greg Ryan resulted in goalkeeper Hope Solo being dropped from the team for the third-place match against Norway, in which the Americans romped, 4-1, to preserve their record of never finishing lower than third in a World Cup or Olympic Games. Abby Wambach scored twice and Lori Chaulpny and Heather O'Reilly tallied a minute apart in the second half as a rampant USA held its arch-nemesis Norway to just seven shots and peppered veteran keeper Bente Nordby with 23 of its own.

VIDEO highlights of the USA's third-place game victory.

Ragnhild Gulbrandsen scored a consolation goal in the 63rd minute to rob Briana Scurry, the target -- directly or indirectly -- of bitter comments from Solo following a 4-0 loss to Brazil in the semifinals, of a shutout. Ryan gave Aly Wagner and Marian Dalmy their first starts of the tournament.

Wagner replaced Shannon Boxx, suspended after receiving two cautions against Brazil. Also sitting out was defender Kate Markgraf, who suffered an ankle sprain in the semi. Dalmy took her place in the middle, and at halftime Christie Rampone, who'd suffered a slight concussion, came off and Tina Ellertson replaced her.

Wambach redirected a Chalupny shot into the net with 30 minutes played after Norway partially cleared a corner kick and got her second early in the second half from the same scenario.

A Stephanie Lopez corner kick was steered toward goal by Cat Whitehill and when the ball came back off the post, Wambach banged it in.

Wambach finished as the tournament's second leading scorer with six goals to win the Silver Shoe. (Marta won the Golden Ball as MVP and Golden Shoe as top scorer with seven goals.)

The Americans were just too quick and aggressive going for knockdowns and second balls.

Chalupny scored the third goal by jamming an attempted clearance off the foot of Ane Stangeland Horpestad past Nordby from 12 yards out. O'Reilly punished the lax Norwegian defending a minute later by drilling home the second rebound after Nordby had twice stymied Lyndsay Tarpley.

Ryan sent on Natasha Kai in the 89th minute to replace Kristine Lilly, who leaves the World Cup as its all-time leader with 30 appearances. Lilly, 36, has not revealed her decision regarding next year's Olympic Games. For different reasons, Ryan's stature is also in question.

2007 FIFA Women's World Cup
Third Place Match

Sept. 30 in Shanghai, China


USA 4 Norway 1

Goals: Wambach (Chalupny) 30, Wambach (Whitehill) 46, Chalupny 58, O'Reilly (Tarpley) 59; Gulbrandsen (Huse) 63.

USA - Scurry, Dalmy, Rampone (Ellertson, 46), Whitehill, Lopez, Osborne, Chalupny, Wagner (Tarpley, 59, O'Reilly, Wambach, Lilly (Kai, 89).

NORWAY - Nordby, Stangeland Horpestad, Folstad (Gisk, 57), Huse, Christensen, Stensland, Gulbrandsen, M. Knutsen, Storlokken (G. Knutsen, 61), Wiik (Herlovsen, 78), Gulbrandsen.

Stats: USA-NOR
Shots: 23-7
Shots on Goal: 10-2
Saves: 1-5
Corner Kicks: 7-4
Fouls: 5-11
Offside: 2-1

Referee: Gyoengyi Gaal (HUN)
Att.: 34,000



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