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USA Defeats Finland, 6-0, as NIKE U.S. Women's Cup '99 Continues; Americans Will Face Brazil in Championship Game on Sunday


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Thursday, October 7, 1999) - The U.S. Women's National Team set up a showdown with Brazil this Sunday in the championship game of the NIKE U.S. Women's Cup '99 with an electric 6-0 victory over Finland in front of a frenzied crowd of 36,405 fans at Arrowhead Stadium.

It was the largest soccer crowd in Kansas City history and the also the largest weekday, non-World Cup, non-Olympic crowd in the 14-year history of the U.S. Women's National Team program.

In the first match of the evening, Brazil defeated South Korea, 4-0, which means the USA-Brazil clash on Sunday, Oct. 10, at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Ky., will be for the NIKE U.S. Women's Cup championship. The match will be broadcast live on espn2 at 1 p.m. ET as the Americans go for their second tournament title of the year on U.S. soil and sixth consecutive U.S. Women's Cup triumph.

The USA got the festivities going early and Mia Hamm was the catalyst, setting up the first three scores. In the 9th minute, she collected a ball in the right side of the box, shook free of a defender and cut a perfect pass back to Tiffeny Milbrett, who slammed the ball into the roof of the net with her left foot from 12 yards out. The goal was the 67th of Milbrett's international career and her 21st of the year, the second most in a year for any U.S. player in history. Michelle Akers scored 39 goals in 1991.

Just four minutes later, it was Hamm finding a teammate again, this time from the left flank. Hamm crossed on the ground and Milbrett let the ball run through her legs to a streaking Joy Fawcett, who hit the ball in full stride with her instep and stretched the right side of the net for her 21st international goal. Fawcett is the highest scoring defender in U.S. Women's National Team history.

The third goal came in the 36th minute when Sara Whalen took a short pass from Hamm in the right side of the penalty box. Whalen beat her defender to the inside and fired a shot that deflected off the hip of a Finnish defender and scooted into the right corner past the wrong-footed Finnish goalkeeper Satu Kunnas. It was the third goal of Whalen's international career. The three assists increased Hamm's career total to a record to 92.

The match saw the USA put together one of its best performances of the year, slicing the Finland defense to shreds with quick passing and dynamic dribbling while not allowing a shot on goal. The shots rained down on the Finland goal through numerous explosive attacks and the Americans finished with a 27-0 shot total.

U.S. Head Coach Tony DiCicco made four changes at halftime and Kristine Lilly scored both of her goals in the second half through passes from substitutes. The first came in the 54th minute when Danielle Fotopoulos ran down a ball on the left wing and crossed on the ground to the near post, where the darting Lilly slammed the ball into the net from three yards out.

"It's great to put together such a sharp performance in what is basically our off-season," said Lilly, who extended her world record for international appearances by playing in her 190th game for the USA. "We are celebrating the World Cup win right now, but our Olympic preparation will pick up next year, and the coaches are working on getting all the players into the game in different positions. Everyone contributed tonight."

In the 63rd minute, Brandi Chastain bobbed and weaved through defensive traffic in the penalty box before finding Lilly, who bent her shot over Kunnas and into the left corner for her 79th international goal.

The USA added a sixth score just two minutes from the end of the match when Shannon MacMillan's cross from the left side was converted into an own goal by Finland defender Terhi Uusi-Luomalahti. The 5-foot-11 Fotopoulos was bearing down on her as she re-directed her flailing clear into her own net.

"We all know we probably didn't play our best soccer in the World Cup," said Chastain. "But those games are so pressure packed and all the teams so good that the situation doesn't always lend itself to wide open games. So to come out here and play attacking soccer in front of such an appreciative crowd is a great feeling."

In the first match of the day, Roseli and Raquel each scored two goals for Brazil in a game that saw quality chances for both sides, but quality finishing only from the South Americans. Roseli's two goals came off a penalty kick after she was fouled by Kang Sook Noh and a brilliant piece of individual work when she popped the ball over a defender in the penalty box and slipped her shot through the legs of goalkeeper Ho Jung Jung. Roseli leads the tournament in scoring with four goals. Raquel scored off a 30-yard blast and a rebound from a Nildinha shot.

The NIKE U.S. Women's Cup concludes on Sunday as the USA faces Brazil for the championship at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium at 1 p.m. ET in a game broadcast live on espn2. Finland will play South Korea for third place in the first match at 10:30 a.m.

1999 NIKE U.S. WOMEN'S CUP MATCH REPORTS

Participants:United States National Team vs. Finland National Team
Competition:NIKE U.S. Women's Cup '99
Venue:Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City, Mo.)
Date:Oct. 7, 1999 (7:30 p.m. CT kickoff)
Attendance:36,405
Weather:70 degrees - Breezy, Warm

Scoring Summary:1st2ndFinal
United States
336
Finland
000

USA - Tiffeny Milbrett, (Mia Hamm), 9,
USA - Joy Fawcett, (Mia Hamm), 13,
USA - Sara Whalen, (Mia Hamm), 36,
USA - Kristine Lilly, (Danielle Fotopoulos), 54,
USA - Kristine Lilly, (Brandi Chastain), 63,
USA - Own Goal (Terhi Uusi-Luomalahti), 88.

Lineups:
USA - 1-Briana Scurry, 4-Carla Overbeck (15-Tisha Venturini, 46th), 7-Sara Whalen, 3-Christie Pearce, 14-Joy Fawcett, 11-Julie Foudy, 13-Kristine Lilly, 8-Shannon MacMillan, 12-Cindy Parlow (22-Danielle Fotopoulos, 46th), 16-Tiffeny Milbrett (6-Brandi Chastain, 46th), 9-Mia Hamm (5-Tiffany Roberts, 46th).

FIN - 1-Satu Kunnas, 3-Jessica Julin, 4-Hanna Lalne (9-Rosa Lappi-Seppala, 74th), 6-Sanna Rasanen, 17-Sari Seppanen (7-Julia Uusmalmi, 74th), 11-Christina Forssell, 10-Terhi Uusi-Luomalahti, 14-Salla Ranta, 18-Sanna Valkonen (5-Minna Tuominen, 83rd), 2-Sani Ylitalo, 8-Susanna Heikari (15-Heidi Kackur, 60th).

Statistical Summary:USAFIN
Shots . . . . . . . . . .
270
Saves . . . . . . . . . .
08
Corner Kicks . . . . .
110
Fouls . . . . . . . . . .
910
Offside . . . . . . . . .
80

Misconduct Summary:
NONE

Officials:
Referee:
Ali Saheli(USA)
Assistant Referee:
George Gansner(USA)
Assistant Referee:
Joseph Heyden(USA)
Fourth Official:
Shane Butler(USA)


Participants:South Korea National Team vs. Brazil National Team
Competition:NIKE U.S. Women's Cup '99
Venue:Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City, Mo.)
Date:Oct. 7, 1999 (5:00 p.m. CT kickoff)
Attendance:36,405
Weather:74 degrees - Clear, Warm

Scoring Summary:1st2ndFinal
Brazil
134
South Korea
000

BRA - Roseli, (Penalty Kick), 39,
BRA - Roseli, (Nildinha), 53,
BRA - Raquel, (Suzanna), 54,
BRA - Raquel, (Nildinha), 74.

Lineups:
BRA - 1-Andreia (12-Cristina, 87th), 2-Cris (10-Sissi, 56th), 3-Juliana, 4-Fanta, 7-Suzana, 6-Fabiana (17-Jaqueline, 76th), 13-Deva, 8-Daniela (20-Robertina, 85th), 14-Raquel, 11-Roseli, 9-Maicon (18-Nildinha, 46th).

KOR - 1-Ho Jung Jung, 2-Yu Jin Kim, 4-Suk Hee Jin, 5-Young Sil Soo, 6-Kyul Sil Kim, 7-Myung Hwa Lee (17-Eun Hyang Kim, 66th), 9-Yun Hee Choi, 10-Sung Mi Cha, 11-Sun Mi Kang (12-Min Joo Kwon, 75th), 13-Kyung Suk Park, 16-Ju Hee Song (8-Mi Yeon Lee, 41st).

Statistical Summary:BRAKOR
Shots . . . . . . . . . .
175
Saves . . . . . . . . . .
04
Corner Kicks . . . . .
87
Fouls . . . . . . . . . .
1710
Offside . . . . . . . . .
31

Misconduct Summary:
NONE

Officials:
Referee:
Michael Kennedy(USA)
Assistant Referee:
Richard Huber(USA)
Assistant Referee:
Jose Andrade(USA)
Fourth Official:
Shahram Pourazari(USA)


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