U.S. SOCCER: Shannon Boxx, Lindsay Tarpley pace Four Nations romp over Sweden

Shannon Boxx scored one goal and helped set up one of two by Lindsay Tarpley as the U.S. women's national team rocked World Cup runner-up Sweden, 3-0, Friday in the opener of the annual Four Nations tournament in Shenzhen, China.

Teng Wei scored twice as China dominated Canada in a 2-1 victory in the second game of the doubleheader.

Boxx headed home a Kristine Lilly cross in the 13th minute for an early U.S. lead, and Tarpley -- Soccer America's College Women's Player of the Year last fall -- scored her first two international goals, extending the advantage in the second half.

Tarpley, who scored 24 goals for the U.S. under-19 team and has a pair of the U-21 squad, volleyed in her first in the 51st minute after Abby Wambach headed Julie Foudy's long, looping ball onto her path.

She scored her second with a short-range header from a near-post cross by Kate Markgraf on a sequence that began when Boxx rifled a shot from outside the area off the left post.

''It was just a great feeling to score for the national team and contribute to a big win on this level,'' Tarpley said. ''Sweden is a very good team, they are physical and have a really good sense of the game. It was a great team effort to score three goals.''

''[Tarpley] had a great game for us as a young player stepping in and starting at the attacking center midfield role,'' U.S. coach April Heinrichs said. ''She kept possession, changed the point of attack, created a couple of opportunities for herself and obviously finished two. Those are qualities we feel that position has to have. The pass has to be dangerous as well as the player herself.''

Goalkeeper Briana Scurry dealt well with Sweden's most dangerous chances, snagging a fine cross from World Cup Silver Ball winner Victoria Svensson, then making a diving save of a superb Svensson free kick, both early in the second half.

Midfielder Leslie Osborne and defender Amy LePeilbet made their first appearances with the national team, coming on as second-half substitutes.

In injured Hanna Ljungberg's absence, young striker Josefin Oqvist accompanied Svensson up top for the Swedes. Playmaker Malin Mostrom, one of the World Cup's breakout stars, did not see action, but defender Sara Thunebro got her first cap.

Teng scored in the 12th and 52nd minutes for China, and 17-year-old Veronique Maranda tallied in the 87th for Canada. University of Tennessee standout Marie-Eve Nault and youngster Aysha Jamani earned their first caps.

The Four Nations continues on Sunday with the Americans meeting China and Canada facing Sweden.


Jan. 30 at Shenzhen, China

United States 3 Sweden 0. Goals: Boxx 13, Tarpley 51, 66.

United States -- Scurry; Markgraf, Fawcett, Reddick (LePeilbet, 69), Rampone (Mitts, 46); Boxx; Foudy (Osborne, 66), Tarpley (Hucles, 75), Lilly; MacMillan (Roberts, 46), Wambach (O'Reilly, 58).

Sweden -- Lundgren; Marklund (Bengtsson, 31), Tornqvist, Westberg, Thunebro; Nordin, Sjogran, Sjostrom (Dahlqvist, 78), Ostberg (Fagerstrom, 63); Svensson (Olsson, 68), Oqvist.

Yellow card : U.S. -- Boxx 56.

Referee: Zhang Dongqing (China).

Att.: 3,500.

Other result

China 2 (Teng 12, 52) Canada 1 (Maranda 87).

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