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U.S. WNT Tops Nigeria, 5-0, in Second Match of Women's World Cup


PHILADELPHIA (Thursday, September 25, 2003) – U.S. forward Mia Hamm scored the first two goals and assisted on a third as the U.S. Women’s National Team dominated Nigeria 5-0 in their second match of Group A at the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003.  Cindy Parlow scored her second goal of the tournament, Abby Wambach scored her first ever Women’s World Cup goal and captain Julie Foudy added a penalty kick to round out the scoring at Lincoln Financial Field in front of 31,553 fans. The U.S. travel to Columbus, Ohio, tomorrow and will play their final game of group game on Sunday, Sept. 28 at 3:45 ET at Crew Stadium (live on ABC and TeleFutura).

With the win, the U.S. sits atop Group A with six points.  With a win or a tie against North Korea on Sunday, the U.S. would finish first in the group and advance to the quarterfinals at Gillette Stadium in Boston, Mass., on Oct. 1, facing the second place finisher in Group B.

The U.S. got on the board in just the 6th minute after being awarded a penalty kick when forward Cindy Parlow was fouled hard from behind in the left side of the penalty area by Nigerian captain Florence Omagbemi. Parlow, who checked to collect a Kristine Lilly throw-in from the left sideline, was being shadowed by defender Bunmi Kayode when Omagbemi came in hard from the left side, chopping own the 5-foot-11 forward.   Hamm gave the U.S. the early 1-0 lead, driving her penalty shot into the lower right corner past ‘keeper Precious Dede.

In the 12th minute, Hamm doubled the lead for the U.S. and became the leading scorer in FIFA Women’s World Cup history (27 points) moving past China’ Sun Wen, Norway’s Hege Riise and former teammate Michelle Akers.   The world’s all-time leading scoring curled in a 32-yard free kick near the left sideline to the far post, where a crashing Parlow froze Dede with her run. Seeing Parlow, Dede hesitated as she came off her line and the ball flew over her outstretched hands and tucked neatly into the left corner of the net.  It was Hamm’s 144th goal of her international career.

Two minutes later, Hamm almost had a hat trick as she took an opportunistic shot from the left flank with no angle. Her strike swung in on goal and nicked the top of the crossbar.

The U.S. played a 4-4-2 formation the entire match and kept the Nigerian attack at bay, although the Nigerians did well in keeping possession of the ball in the midfield.  Led by central defender Joy Fawcett, the U.S. defense forced held the Super Falcons to only one shot on goal in the first half.

In the 15th minute, it looked like the Nigerians had cut the U.S. lead in half after Patience Avre sliced her way through the U.S. defense and ripped shot from the top of the penalty area that was well-saved by U.S. goalkeeper Briana Scurry.  Stella Mbachu jumped on the rebound at the left side of the goal and knocked it home, but was ruled to have been in an offside position on the initial shot by Avre and the referee waived off the goal.

Late in the half, Nigeria looked to have another chance as Avre stole the ball from Kate Sobrero in the U.S. defensive half, but Sobrero and defender Cat Reddick were able to make a great recovery an run down Avre, forcing her to shoot wide of the goal.

In the second half, the U.S. came out firing and got its third goal off a corner kick in the 48th minute. Hamm served a perfect ball to Parlow who powered in a header from the far corner of the six-yard box, snapping her shot back across the goal into the upper-left hand corner and just over the head of a Nigerian defender sitting at the post. It was Parlow’s second goal of the tournament and fourth in her Women’s World Cup career, all of headers.   Parlow now has 64 international goals.
   
Down 3-0, Nigeria continued search for their first goal of the tournament, but couldn’t find the back of the net. In the 61st minute, midfielder Mercy Akide raced down the left flank with Reddick chasing her down and served in a cross, but Perpetua Nkwocha couldn’t get a foot on the ball as it rolled across the goal mouth.

Four minutes later, the U.S. increased their lead as second half substitute Abby Wambach scored her first goal Women’s World Cup goal. Kristine Lilly created the chance by beating her defender with a great individual effort from the left sideline, swerving in a left-footed cross that dipped just over the head of Hamm and found a wide-open Wambach, who knocked it inside the back post with her left foot.

In the 73rd minute, Hamm just missed another chance for a hat trick as she had two opportunities to score off a cross by Lilly from the left flank.  Hamm’s first shot was kick-saved by Dede and bounced back to her, and her second shot hit the right post and deflected out of bounds. 

The U.S. finished off the scoring in the 89th minute with another goal from a set piece, as they were awarded their second penalty kick of the game. Omagbemi, who fouled Parlow for the first U.S. penalty, tripped up Wambach at the right side of the box with a sliding tackle.

Julie Foudy had to take two shots from the penalty spot, as the referee made her re-take her first attempt – which she scored on – as she had whistled the play dead because Dede moved before the kick. Foudy calmly converted her second shot into the right side netting to become the fourth player, along with Hamm, China’s Sun Wen and German Bettina Wiegmann to score in all four Women’s World Cups.

U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
Match-up:    USA vs. Nigeria
Competition:      FIFA Women’s World Cup 2003
Venue:               Lincoln Financial Field  – Philadelphia
Date:                 September 25, 2003; Kickoff – 7:25 p.m. ET
Attendance:       31,553
Weather:           70 degrees

Scoring Summary:
                  1        2     F
USA          2        3    5
NIG           0        0    0

USA – Mia Hamm (penalty shot)     6th minute
USA – Mia Hamm (unassisted)        12th
USA – Cindy Parlow (Mia Hamm)    47th
USA – Abby Wambach (Kristine Lilly)    65th
USA – Julie Foudy (penalty kick)    89th

Lineups:
USA: 1-Briana Scurry; 15-Kate Sobrero, 14-Joy Fawcett, 4-Cat Reddick, 2-Kylie Bivens; 7-Shannon Boxx (5-Tiffany Roberts, 71), 10-Aly Wagner (20-Abby Wambach, 46) 11-Julie Foudy - Capt., 13-Kristine Lilly; 12-Cindy Parlow (15-Tiffeny Milbrett, 57), 9-Mia Hamm.
Subs not used: 3-Christie Pearce, 6-Brandi Chastain, 8-Shannon MacMillan, , 17-Danielle Slaton, 18-Siri Mullinix, 19-Angela Hucles,
Head Coach: April Heinrichs

       
NIG: 12-Precious Dede; 3-Bunmi Kayode, 6-Kikelomo Ajayi, 14-Ifeanyichukwu Chiejine, 17-Florence Omagbemi – Capt.; 4-Perpetua Nkwocha, 7-Stella Mbachu, 13-Nkiru Okosieme, 15-Maureen Mmadu, 18-Patience Avre; 10-Mercy Akide.
Subs not used: 1-Ugochi Opara, 2-Effioanwan Ekpo, 5-Onome Ebi, 8-Olaitan Yusuf, 9-Faith Ikidi, 11-Nkechi Egbe, 16-Florence Iweta, 19-Esther Okhae, 20-Vera Okolo.
Head Coach: Samuel Okpodu   


Statistical Summary:            USA   NIG
Shots                                      13     7
Saves                                          3     6
Corner Kicks                             8     3
Fouls                                        17    24
Offside                                        3      6   

Misconduct Summary:
NIG – Florence Omagbemi (caution)    76th minute

Officials:
Referee: Florencia Romano (Argentina)         
Referee Asst.: Sabrina Lois (Argentina)               
Referee Asst.: Alejandra Cercato (Argentina)     
4th Official: Eun Ju Im (Korea Republic)          
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