The match was played in sweltering 100-degree temperatures, but the heat did not seem to slow the USA attack, which peppered the Canadian net with shots from start to finish. A solid effort in goal from Karina LeBlanc kept the USA off the board for most of the match as the Americans could only put 10 of their 31 shots on frame.
The U.S. finally broke through in the 74th minute as substitute Cindy Parlow earned a penalty kick with a tremendous solo effort. Parlow won the ball from Canadian defender Sharolta Nonen on the left sideline with a perfect sliding tackle, then rose to her feet and dribble around Marie-Claude Dion, who chopped her down from behind. Kristine Lilly stepped up and rolled her shot into the right corner for her first goal in the last 19 games and the 85th of her international career.
Canada came right back and tied the match one minute later as Kristina Kiss launched a free-kick into the penalty box from the right sideline. U.S. goalkeeper Briana Scurry game out to challenge, but Canada captain Amy Walsh got a piece of the ball and looped her header over Scurry and toward the net. U.S. defender Kate Sobrero cleared the ball away before it hit the ground, but the linesman correctly ruled that the ball had crossed the line and signaled a goal.
"Tonight's game wasn't about Canada or what our series record is against them," said U.S. head coach April Heinrichs. "Today, we were playing ourselves. We were very pleased with the second half. We battled, fought, clawed and created chances and had some very bright moments, and at the end of the day, it's pleasing to see how hard they played the last 30 minutes."
Scurry replaced starter Siri Mullinix in 23rd minute after Canadian forward Charmaine Hooper had clashed with Mullinix on a reckless and dangerous tackle while both were sliding for a through ball. Scurry played a quality match, but was forced to make just one save, that just before halftime when she corralled a 17-yard blast from Hooper with a diving save.
Mullinix made a big save on a Hooper breakaway just four minutes into the game, cutting down the angle quickly before knocking away the shot. Mullinix bruised her knee during the collision with Hooper in the 20th minute and left match for precautionary reasons, but will be able to play in the USA's final "NIKE Road to Glory" match against Brazil on Sept. 1 in San Jose, Calif.
The draw was the first-ever between to two teams and broke a 21-game winning streak for the USA against Canada. The USA is now 21-1-1 against its northern neighbors. The Americans dominated possession during the game, and effectively shut down Canada's talented strike force of forwards Hooper, Silvana Burtini and 17-year-old Christine Sinclair, but Canada's defense was organized, tough and disruptive. Goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc played a solid match and showed talented hands, snagging every U.S. shot that came on frame.
"I think we played pretty well," said U.S. forward Mia Hamm. "We were a bit fatigued now and that led to a couple of technical breakdowns, but you have to give Canada credit. They came out and played hard and pressured us all over the field. Our mindset coming into every game has to be to go out there and take it from the other team. No other team is going to give it to us. We have to play for 90 minutes, because one half isn't going to do it. We're all looking forward to going on the break and coming back revived, rejuvenated and refocused."
Lilly, who was named "Chevrolet Women of the Match," was all over the field for the USA and fired numerous shots during the match, but most were from distance and flew high. Hamm almost scored a spectacular goal in the 56th minute when she pulled the trigger from 40 yards away, but LeBlanc got a hand on the ball to push it off the cross bar.
Canada had one great chance in the second half as Sinclair busted through on a counter attack in the 58th minute, but she shot wide left as Christie Pearce closed fast. Lilly then had a chance on the other end of the field as she got on the end of a quality weak side pass, but her driven shot to the near post from eight yards was pushed around the post by LeBlanc.
Parlow came into the match in the 57th minute as the USA switched to a 3-4-3 and immediately added a spark to the U.S. attack. In the 60th minute, Tiffeny Milbrett beat Sharolta Nonen down the flank and spun a cross to Parlow, but her shot went wide left.
Milbrett had three golden chances in the second half. The first came in the 68th minute when Joy Fawcett sent a long free-kick into the penalty box and Hamm headed it down into Milbrett's path, but her screaming volley went wide right. In the 70th minute, Milbrett worked herself free in the penalty box, but LeBlanc snagged her bending shot. In the 82nd minute, Parlow put Milbrett behind the defense and she raced in on a breakaway, but bounced her shot left of the goal.
"At the end of the game, I got (the U.S. team) together and reminded them that this is not going to be easy," added Heinrichs. "There is no team in the world that is going to give them the Olympic gold medal. I asked them if they wanted to win the gold medal and if they were prepared to do the work that it takes. From their reaction, I know they are."
The USA will now take six days off before regrouping at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in San Diego, Calif. for several days of training in preparation for its final match of the "NIKE Road to Glory" tour on Sept. 1 against Brazil at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (Kickoff 5:30 p.m. PT on ESPN).
2000 U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
|Participants:||U.S. Women's National Team vs. Canada National Team|
|Competition:||NIKE Road to Glory Tour - International Friendly|
|Venue:||Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City, Mo.)|
|Date:||August 20, 2000 - 2 p.m. CT|
|Weather:||100 degrees - Very Hot, Breezy|
USA - Kristine Lilly, (penalty kick), 74,
CAN - Amy Walsh, (Kristine Kiss), 75.
USA - 18-Siri Mullinix (1-Briana Scurry, 23), 3-Christie Pearce, 14-Joy Fawcett, 15-Kate Sobrero, 6-Brandi Chastain (Cindy Parlow, 57), 13-Kristine Lilly, 11-Julie Foudy, 2-Lorrie Fair, 8-Shannon MacMillan, 16-Tiffeny Milbrett, 9-Mia Hamm (10-Michelle Akers, 77).
CAN - 22-Karina LeBlanc, 3-Breanna Boyd, 6-Sharolta Nonen, 7-Isabelle Morneau, 8-Marie-Claude Dion, 5-Andrea Neil, 13-Amy Walsh, 18-Kristina Kiss, 12-Christine Sinclair, 17-Silvana Burtini (14-Katie Lee, 77), 10-Charmaine Hooper.
|Charmaine Hooper (caution)||20,|
|Breanna Boyd (caution)||41.|