The USA attacked at a furious pace for 90 minutes despite a mushy, water-logged field and out-shot Mexico 34-4 for the match while scoring four goals in each half. It took the USA just three minutes to get on the board after Mia Hamm was cut down from behind in the penalty area by Fabiola Vargas while running onto a through ball from Tiffeny Milbrett. Former University of Portland star Shannon MacMillan drilled her penalty into the left side of the net and the rout was on. Mexico received two yellow cards for dissent following the penalty kick call.
The second goal came after 20 minutes of constant pressure when Hamm unlocked the Mexico defense with a perfect penetrating pass inside the penalty box to Kristine Lilly, who spun as she collected and drove toward the goal before slotting her shot into the left corner. It was her 84th international goal in her world record 199th international match. She will become the first player, man or woman, in the history of soccer to play in 200 international matches when she lines up against the Maple Leafs on Sunday.
Three minutes after Lilly's goal, Hamm dug a ball out of the left corner on a full sprint and played a cross on the ground into the middle. Milbrett dummied the ball, letting it run to Nikki Serlenga, who slammed her left-footed shot into the roof of the net from 15 yards out on the bang-bang play. It was just the second international goal of her young career and came in just her fourth start.
"I think you get something from every game as long as you go out there and play hard soccer," said U.S. head coach April Heinrichs. "There are confidence builders when you beat Norway in the Algarve Cup final and there are confidence builders when you beat Mexico on a night like this. It wasn't like Mexico rolled over and died. It wasn't like there were soft goals. Every goal was dynamic and bordered on spectacular. So it was a great confidence booster for our team even though it was 8-0."
The fourth goal came in the 35th minute after Julie Foudy put Milbrett through on the left side of the penalty box. Milbrett's first shot was blocked with a kick save by Mexican goalkeeper Linnea Quinonez, but the ball bounced straight back to Milbrett, who with her first touch, sent a delicate, spinning chip over the mass of bodies, dropping the ball into the upper right corner for her 69th international goal. Milbrett, a Portland native and the all-time leading scorer in the University of Portland history, has scored in all four of the USA's appearances in her hometown.
A U.S. blowout would not be complete without a goal from Hamm, and she got hers just two minutes after halftime on a diving header off a deft chip from MacMillan, who found her open five yards out in the middle of the goal. With the score, Hamm extended her world-record international goal total to 118 and with three assists increased her career total to 96.
"The Mexicans are obviously a young team," said Hamm. "But they have a tremendous coach (Leonardo Cuellar) who has done some great things with the team. They are technical, they're feisty and they have huge hearts. Now it's just a matter of getting the experience. In the future in CONCACAF and around the world, Mexico will be a team that people have to deal with. They didn't back down from us and the way you get better is by playing the best."
The sixth goal was perhaps the most spectacular of the night as second-half substitution Sara Whalen swung a driven cross into the box from deep on the right flank and MacMillan met it on the dead run to hit a full volley into the right corner. With the two goals, MacMillan increased her international goal total to 26.
The seventh goal was vintage Hamm as Parlow sprung her down the right flank. Hamm danced through several defenders in the penalty box and then calmly found the wide-open Lorrie Fair with a square pass at the far post for her to knock into the empty net from five yards out. It was Fair's third career goal.
The final goal was all Parlow as the 5-foot-10 forward ran at the Mexico defense, then pushed the ball around the outside of a defender in the right side of the penalty box and ran around the inside her to retrieve it. She then sent a precise chip to the wide-open Christie Welsh standing unmarked at the six-yard line to nod home a-simple header. For 19-year-old Welsh, who replaced Hamm in the 70th minute, the goal was her sixth in just nine international matches. The USA will be trying to win its seventh consecutive NIKE U.S. Women's Cup on Sunday.
"Canada has a new coach and he is a world champion himself (Even Pellerud) with Norway in 1995." Added Hamm. "He has an incredible ability to organize a team. I've seen a more organized Canada and I've seen a team with more fight and spirit. It's going to be a test on Sunday. We've haven't played Canada in a year and last time we had some difficulty with them (a 4-2 win in Portland) so we're looking forward to playing in the final."
2000 U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
|Participants:||U.S. Women's National Team vs. Mexico National Team|
|Competition:||NIKE U.S. Women's Cup 2000 (Semifinal)|
|Venue:||Civic Stadium (Portland, Ore.)|
|Date:||May 5, 2000 - Kickoff 8:30 p.m. PT|
|Weather:||48 degrees - Cold, wet|
USA - Shannon MacMillan (penalty kick), 3,
USA - Kristine Lilly, (Mia Hamm), 22,
USA - Nikki Serlenga, (Mia Hamm), 25,
USA - Tiffeny Milbrett (Unassisted), 35,
USA - Mia Hamm, (Shannon MacMillan), 47,
USA - Shannon MacMillan, (Sara Whalen), 61,
USA - Lorrie Fair, (Mia Hamm), 64,
USA - Christie Welsh, (Cindy Parlow), 76.
USA - 26-Siri Mullinix (18-Hope Solo, 46th), 6-Brandi Chastain (14-Joy Fawcett, 46th), 15-Nandi Pryce, 20-Kate Sobrero, 3-Christie Pearce, 13-Kristine Lilly (7-Sara Whalen, 46th), 5-Nikki Serlenga, 11-Julie Foudy (2-Lorrie Fair, 46th), 8-Shannon MacMillan, 9-Mia Hamm (22-Christy Welsh, 70th), 16-Tiffeny Milbrett (12-Cindy Parlow, 63rd).
MEX - 1-Linnea Quinonez, 2-Fabiola Vagas, 3-Christina Romero, 5-Patricia Perez, 8-Fatima Leyva (15-Gina Oceguera, 41st), 4-Monica Gerardo, 6-Liliana Garcia, 11-Mayra Rosales, 7-Monica Gonzales, 9-Maribel Dominguez (18-Rosa Ramirez, 82nd), 10-Iris Mora (13-Ana Gonzales, 82nd).
|Fatima Leyva (caution)||3,|
|Iris Mora (caution)||3,|
|Nikki Serlenga (caution)||24,|
|Fabiola Vargas (caution)||32,|
|Maribel Domingues (caution)||65,|
|Sara Whalen (caution)||66.|
|Participants:||Canada Women's National Team vs. South Korea National Team|
|Competition:||NIKE U.S. Women's Cup 2000 (Third Place Match)|
|Venue:||Civic Stadium (Portland, Ore.)|
|Date:||May 5, 2000 - Kickoff 6:00 p.m. PT|
|Weather:||53 degrees - Cold, wet|
CAN - Andrea Neil, (Sharolta Nonen), 71.
CAN - 1-Nicci Wright, 2-Isabelle Morneau (14-Katie Lee, 75th), 3-Breanna Boyd, 4-Tanya Franck (9-Silvana Burtini, 46th), 5-Andrea Neil, 6-Sharolta Nonen, 7-Cindy Walsh, 10-Christina Sinclair, 12-Isabelle Harvey, 13-Amy Walsh, 15-Christine Latham.
KOR - 1-Ho Jung Jung, 2-Yu Jim Kim, 3-Suk Hee Jin, 5-Young Sil Yoo, 7-Myung Ha Lee, 9-Yun Hee Choi (22-Mi Suk Kwon, 52nd, 21-Jin Sook Lee, 79th), 10-Ju Hee Song, 11-Sun Mi Kang, 12-Kyung Hee Lee, 19-Hae Young Hang, 23-Hyo Eun Kim.
|Andea Neil (caution)||16,|
|Ju Hee Song (caution)||75.|