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Hammís pair gives U.S Goodwill Games gold 2-0 over China.

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (Monday, July 27, 1998) -- Mia Hamm scored a pair of goals and the United States women captured the Goodwill Games gold with a 2-0 decision over China before 11,307 at Mitchell Field tonight.

With five goals in the two matches here, Hamm tied Michelle Akers with 97 goals. The American pair trails only Italyís Caroline Morace, who has 101, for the world record.

Akers "is the ultimate professional, the way she approaches the game, how hard she works," said Hamm. "She leaves the field giving absolutely everything she has."

Norway took the bronze medal, winning 4-2 in a penalty kick tiebreaker following a 1-1 tie though regulation.

Hamm put the U.S. on the board in the 66th minute. Akers started the sequence in the middle of the field, pushing a pass forward to Kristine Lilly. Lilly quickly advanced the ball to Hamm, who found the top left corner from 16 yards.

"Kristine just put a wonderful ball through," said Hamm, who netted three goals in a 5-0 semifinal victory over Denmark Saturday. "I just wanted to get it on the (goal) face and hit it as hard as I could."

Debbie Keller was responsible for Hammís second goal with a hard tackle on a Chinese defender. The ball squirted to Hamm, who looped a 35-yard shot, again into the top left corner.

"I told Debbie to put some pressure on the service," Hamm said. "We knew the goalkeeper came out after they pushed the ball forward. When we got the ball earlier we were looking to get it over her head and thatís what happened."

The U.S., which defeated China 2-1 for the first Olympic gold medal in 1996, extended its winning streak on home soil to 38 matches. The U.S. is 11-3-4 against China and is unbeaten in the last nine meetings. The U.S. team last lost on home soil to defending World Cup champion Norway on February 4, 1996 in Jacksonville, Fla.

In earlier meetings with China this year, the teams tied 0-0 in China, and the Americans won 4-1 two months later in Portugal on a hat trick by Hamm on her 26th birthday.

U.S. goalkeeper Briana Scurry made a one-handed save at the top of the crossbar in the 55th minute on a free kick by Sun Wen, then denied China a chance to tie in the 78th minute, but Scurry came out of goal to cut off the angle, forcing Zhang Ouying's open shot wide right. Scurry, who had two saves, got her ninth shutout in her last 14 games.

The 11,307 was the largest attendance for any event at these Goodwill Games.

United States 2, China 0

Lineups: United States- not available. China - not available.

Scoring: United States - Hamm (Lilly) 66; United States - Hamm (unassisted) 87. Shots: not available. Saves: not available. Corner kicks: not available. Fouls: not available. Offside: not available. Yellow card cautions: not available.

Attendance: 11,307.