COLUMBUS, Ohio (Sept. 28, 2003) – The U.S. Women’s National Team advanced to the quarterfinals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003 this afternoon with a 3-0 victory over North Korea in their third and final match of Group A play. Briana Scurry recorded her second straight shutout of the tournament, and Cat Reddick scored twice for the U.S. in front of an electric atmosphere as 22,828 fans piled into a sold-out Crew Stadium. The U.S. will travel to Boston tonight and will have two days before clashing with Norway, the second place finisher in Group B, at Gillette Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET, which will be televised live on ESPN2 and TeleFutura.
“You never know what is going to happen through the course of the game,” U.S. Women’s National Team head coach April Heinrichs said. “We didn’t step out on the field with any intention of tying. We stepped out on that field with every intention of doing everything that we could to win. I think that our players were inspired and motivated to do that.”
The U.S. rested three players – Mia Hamm, Shannon Boxx and Cindy Parlow – that had started the first two matches, while regular starter Julie Foudy came in as a substitute in the second half. It was the first time Mia Hamm did not play for the U.S. in a Women’s World Cup match. Shannon MacMillan and Danielle Slaton both saw their first action of the tournament, coming in to the game in the second half.
Knowing they needed a win for a chance to advance to the quarterfinals, North Korea came out and put pressure on the U.S. defense from the opening whistle, but led by captain Joy Fawcett, the U.S. backline was able to keep the Korean attack at bay. While the Koreans were able to send in a few dangerous crosses, they didn’t get a single shot on goal in the first half.
On the other end, Wambach gave the U.S. a scoring threat as she muscled her way through the Korean defenders, making numerous runs and creating chances when the ball was at her feet.
Wambach’s tenacity paid off in the 17th minute as she blasted home a penalty kick to give the U.S. an early lead. The penalty was issued when Korean defender Kum Ran O was called for holding Tiffeny Milbrett as she made a run into the box on a Kylie Bivens’ cross from the right side. Wambach scored on the play, but the referee blew her whistle and pointed to the spot before the forward’s finish rose into the top of the goal. Wambach calmly drove the penalty to the lower right of the goal for her second goal of the tournament.
In the 29th minute the Koreans got their first good scoring chance when Mi Ae Ra served in a cross from the right sideline, finding the head of Kum Suk Ri. Suk Ri’s header went wide, but it showed the Koreans were dangerous in the air. Three minutes later, Hyang Ok Ri also won a header in the box off a free kick, but once again it went wide right.
The U.S. almost went up by two goals in the 36th minute as Milbrett came inches from getting her first goal of the tournament on a Wambach cross from the left flank. With the goalkeeper beat, Milbrett just wasn’t able to stretch her leg far enough to get a foot on it and poke it into the net.
In the first half, Defender Christie Pearce was outstanding at the right back position, stifling Korean attacks with timely challenges, while pushing the ball across the centerline and contributing to the U.S. attack. Along with Kylie Bivens and Wambach in front of her, the U.S. was able to make a number of charges up the right flank in the first half.
Despite being down 1-0 at half, Korea was keeping possession for most of the game. Things looked better for the Koreans early in the second half as they were finally able to get their first shot on goal when Un Gyong Ri got a look from 25-yards out, but her drive was easily corralled by Scurry.
One minute later, the U.S. dashed the any thoughts by the Koreans that they would on their way to finding an equalizer, when 21-year-old Cat Reddick got her first World Cup goal, and second ever with the U.S. Women’s National Team, off a corner kick by Aly Wagner. Julie Foudy won a header about 10-yards out, directing it towards the far post where Reddick ran onto the bouncing ball and knocked it into the net with her groin. The goal was the eighth off a set play for the U.S. in the tournament.
The Koreans began to find some confidence and started peppering Scurry with shots from outside the box. In the 60th minute, Pyol Hui Jin blasted a shot from just outside the top of the penalty area, which was dipping just under the crossbar before Scurry made a miraculous save to parry the ball over the goal.
Five minutes later, Hyang Ok tried her luck from 28-yards out, but Scurry was able to cover the shot with ease.
The U.S. got its final goal of the game, and 10th in the first round, in the 66th minute as Reddick scored her second of the day. After receiving a pass from Foudy on the right side of the penalty area, a wide-open MacMillan chipped the ball into the box. Reddick, surrounded by two Korean defenders, out-leaped everyone and snapped a header past ‘keeper Jong Hui Ri.
“I’m thrilled to score two goals,” said Reddick, the youngest player on the U.S. squad. “I guess the attacking mentality of the team just got to me. And a little luck never hurts.”
North Korea had one more quality chance to get on the scoreboard as Jong Sun Song slammed a 25-yard shot on frame, but Scurry again came up big to keep her clean sheet, leaving her feet and punching the shot over the goal.
U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
Match-up: USA vs. North Korea
Competition: FIFA Women’s World Cup 2003
Venue: Crew Stadium – Columbus, Ohio
Date: September 28, 2003; Kickoff – 3:45 p.m. ET
Weather: 60 degrees, cloudy
1 2 F
USA 1 2 3
PRK 0 0 0
USA – Abby Wambach (penalty kick) 17th minute
USA – Cat Reddick (Julie Foudy) 48th
USA – Cat Reddick (Shannon MacMillan) 66th
USA: 1-Briana Scurry; 15-Kate Sobrero (17-Danielle Slaton, 73), 14-Joy Fawcett – Capt., 2-Kylie Bivens, 4-Cat Reddick, 3-Christie Pearce; 5-Tiffany Roberts, 10-Aly Wagner, 13-Kristine Lilly (11-Julie Foudy, 46); 20-Abby Wambach (8-Shannon MacMillan, 56) 16-Tiffeny Milbrett, 56.
Subs not used: 6-Brandi Chastain, 7-Shannon Boxx, 9-Mia Hamm, 12-Cindy Parlow, , 18-Siri Mullinix, 19-Angela Hucles.
Head Coach: April Heinrichs
PRK: 1-Jong Hui Ri; 2-In Sil Yun, 5-Kum Ok Sin (17-Hye Yong Jon, 26), 6-Mi Ae Ra, 12-Ok Gyong Jang; 11-Yong Hui Yun, (16-Kyong Sun Pak, 74), 14-Kum Ran O (13-Jong Sun Song, 53), 15-Un Gyong Ri, 19-Hyang Ok Ri; 10-Pyol Hui Yun, 12-Ok Gyong Jang.
Subs not used: 3-Hwa Song Kim, 8-Kum Chun Pak, 9-Sun Hui Ho, 18-Kyong Hwa Chon, 20-Un Ju Ri.
Head Coach: Song Gun Ri
Statistical Summary: USA PRK
Shots 13 9
Saves 4 5
Corner Kicks 5 6
Fouls 18 20
Offside 2 1
PRK – Kum Ran O (caution) 16th minute
USA – Abby Wambach (caution) 22nd
USA – Tiffeny Milbrett (caution) 40th
PRK – Kyong Sun Pak (caution) 91st
Referee: Sueli Tortura (Brazil)
Referee Asst.: Cliedy Mary Nunes Ribeiro (Brazil)
Referee Asst.: Marlei Silva (Brazil)
4th Official: Worawi Makudi (THA)