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U.S. Under-21 Women Defeat Denmark, 4-0 at 2005 Nordic Cup

- U.S. Faces Rival Germany on Sunday For Spot in Nordic Cup Championship

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SAFFLE, Sweden (July 22, 2005) – The U.S. Under-21 Women’s National Team rolled to its second straight 4-0 win at the 2005 Nordic Cup, defeating Denmark in their second Group B match. The USA got two goals from midfielder Carli Lloyd and one each from substitute forwards Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Cheney.

The young Americans will face Germany in their final Group B match on Sunday, July 24, with a berth in the championship game on the line. The USA must win, as a tie would send Germany to the title game by virtue of a larger goal difference. The Germans downed Iceland, 4-1 in the other Group B match and have a plus-9 goal difference while the USA is at plus-8. Only the group winner advances to the title game on July 26 in what has become the world’s premier event for U-21 women’s national teams.

“It was a tough game, both physically and mentally, so we are going to have to recharge and re-focus for Germany as they are playing very well,” said U.S. head coach Jillian Ellis. “We suffered a few injuries and bumps and bruises, so we’ll see how the team is feeling tomorrow. This is a tough group, and I know the team will respond well to the challenge of playing Germany.”

The U.S. team dominated the match in which they fired 40 shots, but some physical play from Denmark, some sub-par finishing by the USA and a fantastic game from Danish goalkeeper Susan Graversen kept the USA off the board until just five minutes remained in the first half. That’s when midfielder Lori Chalupny hooked up with Lloyd on the first of her two goals, pushing a square pass to her right for the cutting Lloyd. She hit a first-time rocket from 18 yards out into the left corner to open the scoring.

“I felt Denmark was more skillful than Iceland, and at times they had us working really hard to keep possession,” said U.S. forward Amy Rodriguez. “The Danes were a bit nasty and we weren’t getting some calls, but that’s the kind of thing you have to get used to playing at the international level. At the end, we came out on top and everyone is looking forward to the Germany game on Sunday. We have a lot of respect for them and know how good they can be, so it should be a great match.”

It took the USA 40 minutes to get another goal and once again it was created by Chalupny. The USA’s left midfielder raced down the flank and crossed the ball back into the middle on the ground where Lloyd once again hit it first time, slotting the ball into the right corner from 12 yards out. Lloyd, forward Heather O’Reilly, and Rapinoe each have two goals in the tournament so far.

Like in the first match against Iceland, the USA once again scored twice in the dying seconds of the game. Rapinoe, who entered the match in the 80th minute, picked up her second goal of the tournament in the 89th minute, courtesy of Cheney who beat a defender to get deep in the penalty box before slipping a pass across the six-yard box. Rapinoe tried to bend the ball into the right corner with her right foot, but ended up knocking the ball between the goalkeeper’s legs.

“The game was a battle,” said Rapinoe. “They were very physical and played us tough, but we eventually wore them down and scored two goals in the last few minutes. I was excited to get a goal. It’s always nice to come off the bench and get a quick one to give the team a boost.”

The final goal came when Cheney cracked a shot from the top of the penalty box. The ball deflected off the foot of a defender and lobbed over the goalkeeper from 15 yards out for the 18-year-old’s first international goal at the U-21 level.

The USA did suffer some bad knew as defender Rachel Buehler broke her nose just minutes after coming on at halftime and is questionable for the Germany match. Defender Jessica Maxwell suffered a serious knee injury and had to leave the game in the 60th minute and is doubtful for the Germany game.

The win gives the USA their sixth straight shutout victory in the Nordic Cup after winning all four matches in the 2004 tournament by a 3-0 score, including the championship match over Sweden, and defeating Iceland 4-0 last Wednesday. 

U.S. goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart picked up her second shutout in as many games, but once again was rarely troubled while making no saves. She will certainly be busier against Germans, who are the reigning FIFA U-19 world champions.

“I am stoked to be playing Germany,” said Rapinoe, a member of the USA’s 2004 U-19 World Championship Team that fell to Germany in the semifinal in Thailand last November. “This is a big-time game and that kind of challenge is the reason we come to the Nordic Cup. Our team is strong and very deep and we are going to need everyone on the team to get the win.”

The USA is going for its unprecedented seventh straight title at the 15th Annual Nordic Cup, which takes places every summer in northern Europe.

Group A was thrown into a tizzy as the two teams that lost the first round games both won. Finland defeated Sweden 3-1 and Norway down England, 1-0. All three teams are tied with one win and three points, but England has a slight edge on goal difference to head the group.

Match-up: USA vs. Denmark
Competition:   2005 Under-21 Nordic Cup
Venue:            Sporthalla Stadium– Saffle, Sweden
Date:              July 22, 2005; Kickoff – 7:00 p.m. local / 1:00 p.m. ET
Attendance:    500
Weather:        Wet, cool – 62 degrees

Scoring Summary:
             1     2     F
USA     1    3     4
DEN     0    0     0

USA – Carli Lloyd (Lori Chalupny)  40th minute.
USA – Carli Lloyd (Lori Chalupny)  80.
USA – Megan Rapinoe (Lauren Cheney) 89.
USA – Lauren Cheney (unassisted)  91+

USA: 1-Nicole Barnhart; 4-Kendall Fletcher (21-Rachel Buehler, 46, 3-Mary Castelanelli, 50), 15-Jessica Maxwell (8-Sarah Huffman, 60), 19-Jill Oakes, 11-Stephanie Lopez; 22-Jen Buczkowski, 10-Carli Lloyd, 5-Lindsay Tarpley (13-Megan Rapinoe, 80), 6-Lori Chalupny; 9-Heather O’Reilly, 12-Amy Rodriguez (7-Lauren Cheney, 46).
Subs not used: 1-Erika Bohn, 2-Manya Makoski.

DEN: 16-Susan Graversen; 4-Pil Pedersen, 6-Helle Nielsen, 7-Louise Pedersen, 3-Karen Haastrup; 14-Stine Jorgensen (15-Kristine Pedersen, 73), 2-Camilla Andersen, 5-Ditte Larsen, 10-Nanna Johansen; 17-Louise Kristensen (11-Eva Vester, 66), 9-Tanja Christensen.
Subs not used: N/A

Statistical Summary:        

Shots: 40/1
Shots on goal: 18/0
Saves: 14/0
Corner Kicks: 7/0
Fouls: 8/19
Offside: 3/1

Misconduct Summary:
DEN – Tanja Christensen (caution) 91+.

Referee:    Eva Odlund (Sweden)  
Referee Asst.:    Alicia Westman (Sweden)
Referee Asst.:    Helen Hakansson (Sweden)

Group A
Teams    W    L    T    Pts    GF    GA    GD
England 1     1      0    3        2       1      +1
Sweden 1     1      0    3        4       4        0
Finland   1    1       0    3        3      3         0
Norway  1     1       0    3        2      3        -1

Group B
Teams   W     L     T     Pts    GF    GA    GD
Germany  2    0     0      6      10      1      +9
USA          2   0      0      6       8        0     +8
Iceland      0   2      0      0       1        8      -7
Denmark   0   2     0      0       0       10      -10

Nordic Cup Results
Wednesday, July 20 

England 2, Finland 0
Sweden 3, Norway 1
USA 4, Iceland 0
Germany 6, Denmark  0 

Friday, July 22
Finland 3, Sweden 1
Norway 1, England 0
Germany 4, Iceland 1
USA 4, Denmark 0  
Sunday, July 24
Norway v. Finland
Sweden v. England
Iceland v. Denmark
German v. USA 
Placement Matches
Tuesday, July 26 

Match for 7th and 8th 
Match for 5th and 6th 
Match for 3rd and 4th  

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