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U.S. women romp over Argentina 8-1. Sellout sees Milbrett net three goals, Hamm and Keller two apiece.

FULLERTON, Calif. (Friday, April 24, 1998) -- The United States women spotted Argentina an early goal, then routed their South American opponent 8-1 tonight before a capacity crowd of 10,099 at Titan Stadium.

Tiffeny Milbrett had three goals and an assist, Mia Hamm two goals and three assists and Debbie Keller had a pair of goals.

Hundreds were turned away at the gate. The two teams will meet again Sunday at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif. at 3:30 p.m. (ET) in a match televised live on ESPN.

Argentina took a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute when Noemi Morales lost a defender at the top of the penalty box and rolled a pass to Maria Villanueva, who took a touch and cracked her 10-yard shot into the roof of the net.

It took the U.S. five minutes to take the lead. Hamm set up the tying goal when she put Kristine Lilly behind the defense on the left flank. Lilly bent a hard cross on the ground into the middle, where Milbrett ran onto the ball and hit her shot first-time into the left side of the net from 12 yards.

Two minutes later, Hamm slipped a ball to Milbrett behind defense on the right side of the penalty box, area. Milbrett slotted her shot under charging Argentina goalkeeper Liliana Torres to put the Americans ahead for good.

"I was very pleased with the match and the team put on a great show for the crowd," said U.S. coach Tony DiCicco, who saw his team out-shoot the South Americans, 32-3. "I know Argentina will continue to improve, but today, the U.S. was entertaining, committed and creative for 90 minutes.We produced some great goals and I think we gained some confidence for the games to come this year."

Hamm also created the third goal when she ran down ball in deep in left corner, spun and crossed to Michelle Akers at far post.The ball flew over Torres and Akers slid to volley home from three yards out. It was Akersí 95th international goal.

Milbrett completed the hat trick in the 51st, once again courtesy of a great pass from Hamm. She cracked her shot into the right corner from 10 yards out.The three tallies increased Milbrett's international goal total to 37.

"It was wonderful game for the team," said Milbrett. "We were all pretty sharp coming off a week of training camp and my finishing was definitely on today. To get three goals in front of such a great crowd was awesome.We got a feel for what the atmosphere will be like for the World Cup in 1999."

DiCicco made three substitutes in the 57th minute and two combined to give the U.S. a 5-1 advantage two minutes later.Sara Whalen burned her defender down the left flank and sent a blistering cross to the near post where Keller slashed in to volley the ball first-time into the roof of the net from three years out.

Hamm got her first goal in the 66th minute, volleying in Justi Baumgardt's cross after winning the ball in the box. Just three minutes later, Hamm beat her defender around the corner on the left side, pulling Torres to the near post, and sent a perfect pass back to Keller, who let the ball run through her legs and flicked it into the goal with her heel from three yards away. It was Keller's 7th international goal.

Hamm finished the scoring in the 87th minute, blasting her shot into the open net from close range after winning a bouncing ball in the box for her 87th career goal in 144 matches.

Lilly made her 147th career appearance in the match, tying the men's world record for international appearances held by Majed Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. She now sets her sights on the women's world record of 151 appearances held by retired Heidi Stoere of Norway.Provided she plays in the United States's next three matches -- Sunday against Argentina in San Jose, and May 8 and 10 against Iceland in Indianapolis and Bethlehem, Pa., respectively -- Lilly will tie the record against Japan in Tokyo on May 17 and then break it against Japan in Kobe four days later.

United States 8, Argentina 1

Lineups: United States - Tracy Ducar (Briana Scurry, 46), Carla Overbeck, Brandi Chastain, Christie Pearce, Joy Fawcett (Sara Whalen 57), Julie Foudy (Justi Baumgardt 57), Michelle Akers (Debbie Keller 57), Shannon MacMillan, Tiffeny Milbrett, Kristine Lilly (Tisha Venturini 46), Mia Hamm. Argentina - Liliana Torres, Andrea Arce, Cynthia Luporini, Malvina Peralta (Mara Ramos 57), Lorena Jaimerena, Julie Achaval (Norma Altamirano, 71), Marisa Gerez, Yanina Gaitan (Noelia Lopez 46), Noemi Morales, Liliana Baca (Marta Soloman, 64), Maria Villlanueva.

Scoring: Argentina - Villanueva (Morales) 4; United States - Milbrett (Lilly) 7; United States - Milbrett (Hamm) 9; United States - Akers (Hamm) 38; United States - Milbrett (Hamm) 51; United States - Keller (Whalen) 59; United States - Hamm (Baumgardt) 66; United States - Keller (Hamm) 69; United States - Hamm (Milbrett) 87. Shots: United States 32, Argentina 3. Saves: United States 2, Argentina 6. Corner kicks: United States 9, Argentina 0. Fouls: United States 14, Argentina 12. Offside: United States 1, Argentina 2. Yellow card cautions: Argentina - Arce 28th, Baca 34, Ramos 73, Gerez 90.

Referee: Nancy Lay. Assistant referees: Brian Elliott, Tom Bobadilla. Attendance: 10,099 at Titan Stadium, Fullerton, Calif. Weather: Clear, 68 degrees.