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Americans fall in final group game
by Paul Kennedy, November 28th, 2008 7AM



[UNDER-20 WOMEN'S WORLD CUP] Despite a 2-0 loss to China in its final first-round game, the USA won Group B at the Under-20 Women's World Cup in Chile. The Americans will return to Chillan to face England, which finished second in Group A, in the quarterfinals on Sunday (TV: ESPN360com, 5 pm ET).

The Americans had already clinched a berth in the quarterfinals, so U.S. coach Tony DiCicco used his third different lineup in as many games, with three players making their first starts of the tournament. He was forced to use an early substitution when starting defender Kierstan Dallstream went down with an injury in the ninth minute and was replaced by Elli Reed.

China won a pair of goals in the first quarter if an hour after halftime. China's only hope of advancement was that it beat the USA and France not beat Argentina in the other Group B game, but the Bleuettes won, 3-1, to move into the quarterfinals against Nigeria, the Group A winner.

"I'd like to congratulate China on a very good game," said DiCicco. "They are a very good team that probably deserves to be advancing to the second round. I think today we played hard, but didn't always play smart. A defensive mistake led to the first goal and then we were chasing the game."

Japan and Brazil were the only teams to win all three group games. They meet North Korea and Germany, respectively, in the quarterfinals.

Host Chile, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mexico lost all three group games.

Nov. 26 in Temuco
China 2 USA 0. Goals: Zhang Rio 49, Liu Shukun 59.
USA -- Jones, Dallstream (Reed, 9), Fowlkes, Marshall, Fountain, Winters, DiMartino (Wells, 62), Nairn, Enyeart, Mautz (Morgan, 62), Leroux.
China -- Zhang Yue, Wang Lingling, Li Danyang, Weng, Pang (Zhu, 90), Zhang Rui, Xu Wenjia (Gu, 46), Lou, Qu, Liu, Li Wen.
Referee: Tanja Schett (Austria).
Att.: 18,185.



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