March 3, 2002
ALBUFEIRA, Portugal (March 1, 2002) - The U.S. Women's National Team got a first-half goal from Shannon MacMillan, but allowed an equalizer midway through the second half and was forced to settle for a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Sweden in the opening game of Group B at the 2002 Algarve Cup.
While the USA out-shot Sweden 16-12, and perhaps had more quality scoring chances, it was the Europeans who controlled most of the match, building a 10-7 margin in corner kicks. In fact, a talented Swedish team put more pressure on U.S. goalkeeper LaKeysia Beene in the second half than she saw in three full
matches at the Four Nations Tournament in China in January.
"We did enough to win the game," said U.S. head coach April Heinrichs. "We started off much better than we did at the tournament in China, but we always
take a tie as a loss and that's what separates us from the rest of the world, our standards are higher. But we also always build on the positives. The defense
played very well and we strung some passes together to create some very good chances."
The U.S. had the first chance of the game in the 8th minute as Cindy Parlow played Shannon MacMillan down the right wing with a perfectly weighted pass.
MacMillan got a step on her defender, but sliced her shot wide left of the goal after long run. Sweden's best chance of the first half was a header from captain
Malin Mostrom in the 15th minute that bounced just wide left of the goal.