PEACE QUEEN CUP: USA downs Matildas, 2-0

The USA got spectacular first-half finishes from Kristine Lilly (her 155th career goal) and Natasha Kai (making her first start) to defeat Australia, 2-0, Tuesday and remain in contention for a berth in the final of the 2006 Peace Queen Cup in South Korea.

Greg Ryan's Americans next face the Netherlands on Thursday at Suwon World Cup Stadium to close out Group B play. They are tied with Denmark, which will play Australia, with four points and have the edge on goal difference (plus-2 to plus-1).

Against Australia, Ryan made six changes from the team that tied Denmark, 1-1, on Sunday, including giving first-ever starts to Kai and midfielder Joanna Lohman. He also switched out the entire midfield, resting regular starters Leslie Osborne, Carli Lloyd and Aly Wagner and introducing the trio of Lohman, Marci Miller and Angela Hucles, who had an excellent game as attacking midfielder.

The U.S. defense, bolstered by a great game from center back Cat Whitehill,  limited the Matildas to just two shots on goal over the 90 minutes.

Canada beat host South Korea, 3-1, on a Christine Sinclair hat trick to remain in first place in Group A two points ahead of Brazil. Canada wins the group with a win or tie over Brazil in Thursday.

(Click here for the USA-Australia game summary.)

GAME SUMMARY:

Oct. 31 in Cheonan


USA 2 Australia 0. Goals: Lilly 20, Kai 35.

USA -- Scurry, Mitts (Chalupny, 46), Whitehill, Frimpong (Markgraf, 46), Rampone, Miller, Lohman, Hucles, Kai, Wambach, Lilly (Tarpley, 84)

Australia -- Barbieri, Davies (Carroll, 58), Salisbury, Polkinghorne (McShea, 58), Garriock, Burgess (Small, 68), Ferguson (McCallum, 78), Peters, Colthorpe, Walsh (De Vanna, 69), Munoz (Gill, 69).

Referee: Kim Eun Jin (South Korea).

Att.: 8,000.
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