U.S. SOCCER: China dominates U.S. in freezing Wuhan

Host China scored two first-half goals to beat the United States, 2-0, Sunday before 40,000 fans at Wuhan Sports Center Stadium.

China's WUSA stars proved to be the difference. China dominated the first half and was rewarded with goals by San Diego Spirit defender Fan Yunjie (off a corner by Zhao Lihong of the Philadelphia Charge) in the 19th minute and Atlanta's Sun Wen (28-yard shot) in the 36th minute.

''These are some of the most difficult conditions that I've seen our women's national team face,'' said U.S. coach April Heinrichs. ''As many as 10 players got sick, we are playing China in China, in front of 40,000 screaming fans, the temperatures were cold, but worsened by the rain and wind. Giving up two goals is hard to overcome, but our effort in the second half was phenomenal. We did everything we could in that second half to get a goal and a make it difficult for China.

''China looks very well prepared to have the World Cup come to their country. Sun Wen is playing as well as I've seen her play in four years. They have speed, quickness and athleticism to complement their team skill, and unlike 1999, they will be supported massively by their home crowd. In fairness, we lost on two world class goals.''

China took over first place with four points. The United States has three.


Jan. 26 in Wuhan

China 2 USA 0. Goals: Fan 19, Sun Wen 36.

China -- Zhao Yan, Sun Rui, Li, Fan Yunjie (Gao, 82), Liu Ya Li, Zhao Lihong, Pu, Liu Ying, Zhang (Ren, 62), Bai Jie (Han, 87), Sun Wen (Teng, 70).

USA -- Beene, Bryan, Fawcett, Chastain, Benson (Pearce, 46), Roberts, Hucles, Kluegel (Wagner, 66), Fair (Tarpley, 46), Parlow (Milbrett, 70), MacMillan (O'Reilly, 46).

Referee: Rebekka Kirchner (Germany).

Att.: 40,000.

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