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USA Wins NIKE U.S. Women's Cup '99 With 4-2 Victory Over Brazil; Hamm and Lilly Score Two Goals Each In Last Match of Historic Year


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Sunday, October 10, 1999) - The U.S. Women's National Team rallied from a 2-1 deficit to score three straight goals and defeat Brazil, 4-2, to win the NIKE U.S. Women's Cup '99 in its final match of the 1990s. It was a decade in which the USA established itself as one of the greatest teams in the history of sports by winning three world championships.

The Brazilians, who finished third at the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, gave the USA a battle for 90 minutes, but eventually broke under the pressure of a relentless U.S. attack which fired 26 total shots.

"This team finds a way to win," said U.S. Head Coach Tony DiCicco. "You never like to go down a goal, especially in a championship game, but with our group of players, there is never any doubt about their ability to take back the game. Brazil is an excellent team and they have new and talented players every time we see them. With all their players back for the Olympics, they will be a very difficult team to beat."

With the match tied at 2-2 and a draw good enough to give the Americans the tournament title on superior goal difference, Kristine Lilly took over. She received a ball on the left flank, danced and weaved past a defender to the end line before sending a cross on the ground to Mia Hamm, who stuck the ball into the net from seven yards out for the 3-2 lead. Lilly then sealed the game in the 88th minute by converting a penalty kick after forward Cindy Parlow had been collared and dragged down by Cidinha.

The first-ever match in Kentucky for the U.S. women was a rousing success as 35,211 fans packed Papa John's Cardinal Stadium to see the USA lift the Waterford Crystal as tournament champions. The three-game attendance for the NIKE U.S. Women's Cup '99 was a record at 94,717 fans.

Early on, it seemed like business as usual for the U.S., who defeated Brazil 6-0 in an exhibition on Sept. 26, as Hamm shot the USA into the lead in the 18th minute, finishing a cross on the ground from Joy Fawcett.

That came after the USA dodged an early bullet when goalkeeper Briana Scurry made two big saves in the just the second minute, denying Cidinha with a kick save before scrambling to her feet and batting away the rebound from Roseli. Brazilian forward Nildinha had a breakout game, scoring the first two goals of her international career, as Brazil equalized on a counter-attack when Roseli sprung Nildinha in a foot-race with U.S. defender Christie Pearce. Nildinha and Pearce sprinted side-by-side for 20 yards before the Brazilian fought off the challenge and bent her shot around Scurry with her left foot into the left corner to tie the game.

Brazil went ahead in the 30th minute through a nice combination from Roseli to Cidinha to Nildinha, who scored her second goal of the game by firing her shot past Scurry into the left corner from 13 yards out. Down by a goal, the USA was in danger of not only losing its first U.S. Women's Cup, but also its undefeated record in the tournament.

But the Americans answered back eight minutes later through a world-class strike from Kristine Lilly. Sara Whalen split two defenders with a pass to find Lilly in the left side of the penalty box. The U.S. midfielder whirled and fired a blistering shot over Andreia and into the roof of the net 10 yards out to tie the game at 2-2.

With two goals in the match, Lilly now has 81 for her career in 191 international games, an average of almost a goal every two games. Hamm's two goals gave her 114 for her career as she continues to extend her world record. The USA now holds an 18-0-0 all-time record in U.S. Women's Cup tournaments.

"I didn't think we played very well in the first half," said Lilly, who was named Tournament MVP and scored four goals with one assist during the three games. "The Brazilians are so skillful that sometimes we fall into the trap of chasing them and don't play our game. We asserted ourselves more in the second half."

The match was played with a physical edge that boiled over in the final minutes when Brazil received three yellow cards. After the final whistle, the two teams briefly scuffled when Hamm was pushed to the turf by Brazil's precocious 15-year old Daniela, but order was quickly restored.

In the match for third-place, Finland defeated South Korea, 3-0, getting two goals from Susana Heikari, who plays her college soccer in the USA for the University of Portland. South Korea had a chance to score its only goal of the tournament in the 83rd minute, but missed a penalty kick wide right.

This was the last outdoor match of 1999 for the U.S. women, who finished with a record for wins and games played at 25-2-2 along with the historic Women's World Cup championship. A full slate of Olympic preparation matches for 2000 will be announced in the near future.

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

Participants:United States National Team vs. Brazil National Team
Competition:NIKE U.S. Women's Cup '99
Venue:Papa John's Cardinal Stadium (Louisville, Ky.)
Date:Oct. 10, 1999 (1:00 p.m. ET kickoff)
Attendance:35,211
Weather:68 degrees - Overcast, Cool

Scoring Summary:1st2ndFinal
United States
224
Brazil
202

USA - Mia Hamm, (Joy Fawcett), 18,
BRA - Nildinha, (Roseli), 21,
BRA - Nildinha, (Cidinha), 30,
USA - Kristine Lilly, (Sara Whalen), 38,
USA - Mia Hamm, (Kristine Lilly), 60,
USA - Kristine Lilly, (penalty kick), 88.

Lineups:
USA - 1-Briana Scurry, 4-Carla Overbeck, 7-Sara Whalen, 3-Christie Pearce, 14-Joy Fawcett, 11-Julie Foudy (6-Brandi Chastain, 46th), 13-Kristine Lilly, 8-Shannon MacMillan (5-Tiffany Roberts, 67th), 12-Cindy Parlow, 16-Tiffeny Milbrett, 9-Mia Hamm.

BRA - 1-Andreia, 3-Juliana, 4-Fanta, 7-Suzana (10-Sissi, 61st), 6-Fabiana, 5-Cidinha (20-Robertinha, 93+), 13-Deva, 8-Daniela, 14-Raquel (17-Jacqueline, 83rd), 11-Roseli, 18-Nildinha (9-Maicon, 71st).

Statistical Summary:USABRA
Shots . . . . . . . . . .
2611
Saves . . . . . . . . . .
46
Corner Kicks . . . . .
103
Fouls . . . . . . . . . .
717
Offside . . . . . . . . .
40

Misconduct Summary:
BRA
Raquel (caution)44,
BRA
Jacqueline (caution)87,
BRA
Deva (caution)88,
BRA
Daniela (caution)95+.

Officials:
Referee:
Sonia Denoncourt(CAN)
Assistant Referee:
Sharon Wheeler(USA)
Assistant Referee:
George Gansner(USA)
Fourth Official:
Joe Heyden(USA)


Participants:South Korea National Team vs. Finland National Team
Competition:NIKE U.S. Women's Cup '99
Venue:Papa John's Cardinal Stadium (Louisville, Ky.)
Date:Oct. 10, 1999 (10:30 a.m. ET kickoff)
Attendance:35,211
Weather:71 degrees - Drizzling, Cool

Scoring Summary:1st2ndFinal
Finland
123
South Korea
000

FIN - Heidi Kackur, (Christina Forssell), 18,
FIN - Susanna Heikari, (Unassisted), 58,
FIN - Susanna Heikari, (Heidi Kackur), 84.

Lineups:
FIN - 1-Satu Kunnas, 4-Hanna Lalne (8-Susana Heikari, 39th), 6-Sanna Rasanen, 17-Sari Seppanen, 7-Julia Uusmalmi, 11-Christina Forssell, 9-Rosa Lappi-Seppala, 10-Terhi Uusi-Luomalahti, 14-Salla Ranta (5-Minna Tuominen, 83rd), 2-Sani Ylitalo, 15-Heidi Kackur.

KOR - 18-Mi Jung Kim, 2-Yu Jin Kim, 4-Suk Hee Jin, 5-Young Sil Soo, 6-Kyul Sil Kim, 14-Me Jung Kim (11-Sun Mi Kang, 38th), 8-Mi Yeon Lee, 17-Eun Hyang Kim (7-Myung Hwa Lee, 40th), 9-Yun Hee Choi, 10-Sung Mi Cha, 13-Kyung Suk Park (3-Suk Hee Jin, 75th).

Statistical Summary:FINKOR
Shots . . . . . . . . . .
1516
Saves . . . . . . . . . .
106
Corner Kicks . . . . .
14
Fouls . . . . . . . . . .
174
Offside . . . . . . . . .
00

Misconduct Summary:
NONE

Officials:
Referee:
Nancy Lay(USA)
Assistant Referee:
Brian Darling(USA)
Assistant Referee:
Andres Johannes(USA)
Fourth Official:
Joe Marseca(USA)

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