Forward Mia Hamm scored her 105th career goal, pulling even with Italian Carolina Morace in second on the all-time international goal scoring list. Hamm now trails only long-retired Elisabetta Vignotto, another Italian legend, who scored 107 career goals. Hamm had gone scoreless in eight previous games -- the longest drought of her career since scoring her first international goal in July of 1990 -- before unleashing a bending right-footed shot from 20 yards that skipped into the left corner to make it 2-0 in the 18th minute.
The USA was coming off a 9-0 trouncing of Japan last Thursday in Charlotte, N.C., a match in which it scored six goals in the second half. The Americans scored five in the second stanza today. Early on Japan looked to be a stronger team than in the first match, but playing in front of a sun-baked crowd that filled the 15,000-seat stadium to its brim, crumbled after 15 minutes under the pressure of the slashing Hamm.
In the 15th minute Hamm lost a defender into the penalty box only to launch her shot over the crossbar. One minute later, she hit the left goal post off a short cross from Julie Foudy and one minute after that, beat her defender to the end line and crossed to MacMillan, who held off her defender to tap the ball in from three yards out.
Hamm got her goal one minute after that and the route was on. "I always want to score goals, but the most important thing is that we win," said Hamm. "We've got so many players that can score, and I think you saw that today. If I'm not putting the ball in the net, someone will step up to get the job done."
U.S. Head Coach Tony DiCicco, in his final stages of his decision-making process for his 20-player Women's World Cup roster, gave 18-year-old Aly Wagner her first international start in the midfield and gave rare starts to Sara Whalen and Tiffany Roberts on the back line. He also gave MacMillan just her fourth start of the year, and each player came through, with MacMillan scoring the 17th and 18th goals of her career.
Fotopoulos came off the bench to score the USA's first two goals of the second half just four minutes apart, volleying in MacMillan's short cross in the 64th minute and heading home Christie Pearce's cross in the 68th, both from inside the six yard box. Fotopoulos upped her international goal total to seven in 20 matches.
Whalen made a statement for a spot on the Women's World Cup Team with a dynamic 50-yard solo run in the 81st minute, racing half the field before sliding to slot her shot into the lower left corner for her second international score.
MacMillan added her second goal just one minute later, running onto Cindy Parlow's cross in the right side of the penalty box. She cut back hard into the middle, losing a defender, and slammed her left-footed shot into the near post from 10 yards out. In the 87th minute, second-half substitute Tisha Venturini scored her third goal in the last four games, controlling a loose ball in the penalty box before driving her left-footed shot into the right corner at the near post. It was Venturini's 41st international goal.
Kristine Lilly came on as substitute for only the fifth time in her career, earning her 175th career cap as she continues to put the world record for international appearances into the stratosphere.
U.S. goalkeeper Siri Mullinix, battling for the third goalkeeper position on the Women's World Cup Team, earned her first full international cap, playing the second half and making one save. DiCicco gave the day off to Tiffeny Milbrett (who scored four times on Japan last Thursday), Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett and Kate Sobrero.
The USA will now take a week break before regrouping in Milwaukee, Wisc. on May 10 for games vs. Holland on May 13 at Uihlein Soccer Park (Kickoff 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. Local) and May 16 at Solider Field in Chicago (Kickoff 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. Local -- Live on espn2).
1999 U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
|Participants:||United States National Team vs. Japan National Team|
|Competition:||NIKE Road to Pasadena / International Friendly|
|Venue:||Dekalb Memorial Stadium (Atlanta, Ga.)|
|Date:||May 2, 1999; Kickoff 2:00 p.m. ET|
|Weather:||Sunny, clear - 81 degrees|
USA - Shannon MacMillan, (Mia Hamm), 17,
USA - Mia Hamm, (Julie Foudy), 18,
USA - Danielle Fotopoulos, (Shannon MacMillan), 64,
USA - Danielle Fotopoulos, (Christie Pearce), 68,
USA - Sara Whalen, (Unassisted), 81,
USA - Shannon MacMillan, (Cindy Parlow), 82,
USA - Tisha Venturini, (Unassisted), 87.
USA - 1-Briana Scurry (26-Siri Mullinix, 46th), 4-Carla Overbeck (3-Christie Pearce, 46th), 2-Lorrie Fair, 5-Tiffany Roberts, 7-Sara Whalen, 10-Michelle Akers (22-Danielle Fotopoulos, 46th), 11-Julie Foudy (15-Tisha Venturini, 46th), 25-Aly Wagner, 12-Cindy Parlow, 8-Shannon MacMillan, 9-Mia Hamm (13-Kristine Lilly, 46th).
JPN - 21-Naoko Nishigai, 5-Tomoe Sakai (2-Rie Yamaki, 46th), 4-Mai Nakachi (22-Kaoru Nagadome, 46th), 7-Yumi Tomei, 12-Hiromi Isozaki, 13-Miyuki Yanagita (20-Yayoi Kobayashi, 46th; 8-Ayumi Hara, 78th), 14-Tomomi Mitsui, 10-Homare Sawa, 15-Mito Isaka (16-Kazumi Kishi, 88th), 11-Nami Otake, 9-Tamaki Uchiyama.
|Nami Otake (caution)||85.|