U.S. soccer  Team USAsoccer

soccer feedback

U.S. under-20 women face must-win in Nordic Cup.

DWINGELO, the Netherlands (Wednesday, August 5, 1998) -- The United States under-20 women face a must-win match against unbeaten Sweden Friday after playing the host Netherlands to a 1-1 draw today in the Nordic Cup, considered by many the age groupís world championship.

The winners of the two four-team groups meet Sunday for the title. The U.S. (1-0-1), won the Nordic Cup last year, will return to the final only with a victory over Sweden (2-0).

"We were not satisfied with the tie," said U.S. sweeper Jen Grubb. "However, we're still in good position on Friday against Sweden. It adds pressure, but it's a situation we welcome and accept as one of the top teams in the world."

The Americans only goal today came on a penalty kick by defender Lorrie Fair (Los Altos, Calif., University of North Carolina) after striker Mandy Clemens (Santa Diego, Calif., Santa Clara University) was taken down in the box.

The Dutch (0-1-1) pulled even in the 57th minute when Shirley Smith converted a rebound from close range from a scramble in front of the net after goalkeeper Lakeysia Beene (Sacramento, Calif., University of Notre Dame) knocked down the first shot, but could not control it.

Cindy Parlow (Memphis, University of North Carolina) had a chance to win the match with about two minutes left, but missed her breakaway chance wide right from a sharp angle.

"Holland is a much-improved team," said U.S. coach Lauren Gregg. "They fought hard and although they only had three shots on us, they did well to tie the match. I was pleased with the way we were able to get behind their defense consistently, but we didn't convert any of our chances."

In a cautious match, the two teams managed only 10 shots, the U.S. taking seven.

In other Group B action, Sweden registered a 2-1 decision over Finland (0-2).

In Group A match, Norway (2-0) beat Germany (1-1) 1-0 and Denmark (1-1) topped Iceland (0-2) 2-1. Norway needs just a draw with Iceland on Friday to win the group and earn a place in the final, and even a loss could put it in the championship because of a superior goal difference.

United States 1, the Netherlands 1

Lineups: United States- Lakeysia Beene, Jen Grubb, Ronnie Fair (Samantha Baggett 64), Lorrie Fair, Robin Confer (Michelle French, 46), Rebekah McDowell (Kristy Whelchel 46), Jenny Streiffer (Laurie Schwoy 5), Tiffany Roberts, Susan Bush (Raven McDonald 77), Cindy Parlow, Mandy Clemens. Netherlands - Martine van Pelt, Jeanet van der Laan (Saskia Dromel 90), Saar Schuiling, Lisan Goudena, Cindy Burfer, Annemiek Griffeon, Truus Leenman, Martine Weinans (Jolanda Aalbers 46), Nicole Delies (Mary Olumagba 46), Shirley Smith (Kim de Pruyssenaere 57).

Scoring: United States - L. Fair (penalty kick) 26; Netherlands - Smith (unassisted) 57. Shots: Netherlands 3, United States 7. Saves: Netherlands 5, United States 2. Corner kicks: Netherlands 0, United States 9. Fouls: Netherlands 12, United States 10. Offside: Netherlands 2, United States 9. Yellow card cautions: Netherlands - Goudena 30; United States - McDowell 18.

Referee: E. Odlund. Attendance: 125. Weather: Overcast, 67 degrees.