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Americans beat China again to finish 33-1-2
by Paul Kennedy, December 18th, 2008 7AM

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[U.S. WOMEN] The USA closed out the year with a 1-0 win over China in Detroit that gave it a 33-1-2 record for the year, the best ever in the 24-year history of the women's national team program. The U.S. team won all five tournaments it entered, including the 2008 Olympics, and also set a record for most wins and best winning percentage (.944) in a calendar year.

A first-half goal from midfielder Heather O'Reilly -- her 10th goal of the year -- decided the game, which drew a crowd of 11,933 at Ford Field, the third largest home crowd of the year.

"It was another great win against a pretty good team," said U.S. coach Pia Sundhage. "I was happy with the first half, but I think we went for Christmas time a little too early in the second half. China did a good job in the second half, but overall these two games have been good and it's a great way to end the year. Everybody was happy to see the gold medalists and you could feel that. After everything we've done this year and listening to this crowd today, it was fantastic."

The USA will off a little more than a month off before re-grouping in late January for a training camp to begin the 2009 schedule under Sundhage, who recently signed a four-year extension that will take her through the 2012 Olympics. The team will also compete in the 2009 Algarve Cup in Portugal in March before the players join their WPS teams for the inaugural season of the new women's professional league.

GAME SUMMARY:
Dec. 17 in Detroit
USA 1 China 0. Goal: O'Reilly 32.
USA -- Solo (Barnhart, 46), Mitts (Dalmy, 46), Rampone, Markgraf (Buehler, 46), Chalupny, O'Reilly (White, 62), Boxx, Lloyd, Hucles (Lilly, 54), Ellertson (Rodriguez, 42), Tarpley.
China -- Zhang Yanru, Zhou, Weng, Yuan Fan, Liu Hua Na, Wang Dan Dan (Gu, 64), Zhang Na (Zhang Ying, 57), Bi (Gao, 83), Xu, Liu (Lou, 72), Han (Wang Kun, 83).
Referee: Margaret Domka (USA).
Att.: 11,933.


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