U.S. SOCCER: Women rout Canada in Pacific Cup

April Heinrich's team didn't have to wait for a second-half explosion this time, as the U.S. women demolished Canada, 9-1, in their second game of the Pacific Cup in Australia. The last time the two countries met, the United States beat Canada, 4-0, with all four goals coming in the second half at the U.S. Cup in early May. In the June 2 match in Sydney, the world and Olympic champions scored early and often, going up 4-0 in the first half. "Our team was working together and pursuing excellence tonight," said U.S. coach Heinrichs. "In no way does it make up for the loss [to China on May 31], but I thought we played well in both games." The match was played at Sydney Football Stadium before 10,049 spectators, which is the largest crowd to watch a women's soccer match in Australia. The USA has now beaten its northern neighbor 20 straight times and has an overall record of 21-1-0 against Canada. "Today's play was both impressive and disappointing," said Canada coach Even Pellerud. "USA was physically and technically stronger and our level of play was disappointing compared to the last time we played them." Just four players shared the nine goals as Cindy Parlow registered her first career hat trick and Tiffeny Milbrett lit up the scoreboard for her second career three-goal match. She also owns one four-goal performance. Lorrie Fair added two goals within three minutes of each other in the second half and Shannon MacMillan added one score to celebrate her 100th career appearance for the national team. The USA produced 30 shots and a shell-shocked night for goalkeeper Nicci Wright. The U.S. ran at Canada with a 3-4-3 lineup that featured the 1999 Women's World Cup striking trio of Milbrett, Mia Hamm and Parlow, who put on a tremendous display of playmaking, and finishing, from the forward line. "We want to be able to play out of several systems," Heinrichs said. "We don't want to be predictable and we want to be able to make adjustments based on what we feel is good option for our team. We don't want to limit ourselves, but there is a lot of soccer left for us before the Olympics." The USA's first goal came in the 17th minute when Milbrett dropped a one-touch pass back to Hamm in the midfield and took off running. Hamm chipped a perfect pass over the Canadian defense and Milbrett out-ran her mark to shoot from 19 yards off the left post and in. The Americans made it 2-0 just two minutes later when Parlow shook herself free from a defender in midfield and beat Canada's offside trap, as she put MacMillan clear behind the defense on the right flank. The scrambling defenders arrived too late as MacMillan raced in from an angle and bent her seven-yard shot just inside the left post with the outside of her right foot. MacMillan captained the team for the first time to honor her entry into the century club, and the goal was her 27th internationally. Parlow got on the board in the 37th minute as MacMillan put Joy Fawcett free down the right flank with another great touch over the defense. In a play reminiscent of Fawcett's assist to Tiffeny Milbrett in the 1996 Olympic gold medal game, she streaked down the wing and cut hard to the net, gluing Wright to the left post, before cutting a perfect pass back for the trailing Parlow, who finished easily into the open net from six yards out. Milbrett capped the first half scoring with a cracker of a goal as she took a short corner from Hamm in the left side of the penalty box, squared up on Christine Sinclair and then juked the 16-year-old out of her path with a nifty inside-out dribble. Milbrett then whipped her 16-yard shot over Wright and under the cross bar as two Canadian defenders standing on the goal line could only watch as the ball stretched the roof of the net. Fair got her first goal just four minutes into the second half as a Wright save off a Hamm breakaway produced a corner kick. Hamm played it short to MacMillan, who crossed from the right and Fair out-jumped Andrea Neil, a player five inches taller, to redirect the ball from the elbow of the six-yard box, over Wright, and into the upper left corner. Hamm provided the service two minutes later when she chipped a pass into the middle. Milbrett flicked the ball with her head over the defense to Fair, who brought the it down beautifully on the instep of her fight foot and then blasted her shot through Wright's legs from eight yards out. Milbrett added her third in the 58th minute when she deftly redirected Whalen's cross from the right flank into the right corner for her 73rd international goal. Hamm terrorized the Canadian defense all night, but found a cover on goal, as three of her solo chances were spectacularly saved by Wright, and a fourth hit the left post for the trailing Parlow to finish in the open net from eight yards straightaway. Hamm did dish off three assists. The final U.S. goal came as Whalen streaked down the right flank and fed Parlow with a perfect bending ball behind the defense on the ground. Running hard to the near post, Parlow spun a shot that Wright got a solid hand on, but in a microcosm of her night, then rolled slowly over the goal line. It was Parlow's 33rd career goal. Canada avoided the shutout when Sinclair finished a rebound off a Christine Latham shot that had been pushed away the diving Jenni Branam. The 19-year-old Branam picked up her second cap for the USA as well as a bloodied mouth and a sore back when she dove at the feet of a Canadian player to make a spectacular save in the 79th minute. With the ball cradled in her arms, she then took the full brunt of the falling Latham's knee in her back and lay motionless on the field for a few moments before rising and finishing the game. It was the fifth time in U.S. history that the American women have won a game by an eight-goal margin. In the other matches, Australia thrilled the huge crowd, battling China to a 1-1 tie in regulation and through 20 minutes of sudden death overtime before succumbing in penalty kicks, 5-4. A win for the Matildas would have opened the door for the U.S. women to win the tournament, but now they must hope for an unlikely Canadian upset of the powerful Chinese. Japan came from behind to defeat New Zealand in overtime, 2-1, on a golden goal, as the Kiwis squandered their second straight one-goal lead. The U.S. women will attend the Olympic Draw June 3 at Sydney Town Hall where they will find out whom they will face in the first round of that tournament. The USA then faces New Zealand on Sunday, June 4, at Campbelltown Sports Stadium (2:30 p.m. local/12:30 a.m. ET) as the Pacific Cup continues. Pacific Cup June 2 in Sydney United States 9, Canada 1. Goals: Milbrett 17, 40, 58, MacMillan 19, Parlow 37, 69, 77, Fair 49, 51; Sinclair 81. USA - Branam, Chastain (Slaton, 46), Sobrero (Pearce, 46), Fawcett, Lilly (Whalen, 46), Fair, Foudy (Serlenga, 46), MacMillan, Parlow, Hamm, Milbrett (Welsh, 63rd). Canada -- Wright, Walsh (Smith, 55), Morneau (Burtini, 68), Dion, Boyd, Neil (Hermus, 59), A. Walsh, Sinclair, Harvey, Latham, Kiss. Ref.: Tammy Ogston (Australia). Att.: 10,049 2000 Pacific Cup Standings
China 2 2 0 0 2 1 6
USA 2 1 1 0 9 2 3
Australia 2 1 1 0 2 1 3
Japan 2 1 1 0 2 2 3
Canada 2 1 1 0 3 10 3
New Zealand 2 0 2 0 2 4 0
2000 Pacific Cup Schedule May 31 Canada 2, New Zealand 1 China 1, USA 0 Australia 1, Japan 0 June 2 Japan 2, New Zealand 1 (OT) USA 9, Canada 1 China 2, Australia 1 (China wins 5-4 on penalties.) June 4 Japan vs. China USA vs. New Zealand Australia vs. Canada June 7 Australia vs. New Zealand June 8 China vs. Canada USA vs. Japan June 10 Canada vs. Japan China vs. New Zealand June 11 USA vs. Australia
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