Milbrettís four goals lead 9-0 rout of Japan.By Gary Davidson
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Thursday, April 29, 1999) -- The United States women took out the frustration of Sundayís 2-1 injury-time loss to China by pounding Japan 9-0 tonight, led by Tiffeny Milbrett who found net four times in front of 10,119 who braved a cold rain at Ericsson Stadium.
The two teams play again Sunday in Atlanta at Dekalb Memorial Stadium at 2 p.m. (ET), a match that will be broadcast live on espn2.
Milbrett, who also had two assists, became the second player in U.S. history to score four goals in a game, tying striker Mia Hamm. All tallies came in the second half. Adding two assists, Milbrett also joined Hamm as the only Americans to garner 10 points in a match.
In all, 10 different players recorded a goal or an assist in the total domination of their Asian foe.
"I felt we really got into the match in the second half," Milbrett said. "We found our legs, space opened up and my teammates found me. It was an exciting night and the fans that braved this weather were awesome. We can definitely feel the excitement building towards the World Cup."
Hamm failed to score for the eighth straight contest, but did provide two assists. She remains third all the international career goal list at 104, trailing a pair of retired Italians: Elisabetta Vignotto (107) and Carolina Morace (105). Midfielder Michelle Akers notched her 102d career tally, leaving her in fourth place.
The U.S. did not permit Japan a shot, while hitting 35. The Americans were awarded 19 corner kicks to none for Japan.
"We always talk about effort and what we put in the game," Hamm said. "We felt a few steps behind China last week, but as a team, we vowed to play harder tonight and let the effort determine the outcome."
The U.S. moved the ball at will against their overmatched opponent, making full use of the width of the field and exhibiting quick passing combinations.
The first two goals came off corner kicks. In the 15th minute, Hamm found striker Cindy Parlow past the far post where she put the ball back into the middle with her right foot. Akers outjumped Japanese goalkeeper Nozomi Yamago to head the ball home from six yards out.
Eight minutes later, midfielder Kristine Lilly made it 2-0, taking Hammís corner and flicking a header into the lower right corner with her head for her 70th international goal and team-leading ninth of 1999.
The U.S. took a 3-0 advantage into intermission after Parlow netted her 19th international goal in the 45th minute. Milbrettís left-side cross deflected off the foot of a Japanese defender, causing a diving goalkeeper Nozomi Yamago, to miss the ball.
Just 45 seconds into the second half, the American bulge became 4-0 when reserve striker Danielle Fotopoulos crossed from the right side to Hamm, who flicked the ball with her heel, freeing Milbrett in the middle of the penalty area to bury her shot from 10 yards out.
Milbrett made it 6-0 from 12 yards after taking a pass from Fotopoulos in the 55th minute.
Milbrett set up Tisha Venturiniís header for her 40th international goal in the 85th minute. Milbrett finished the scoring with goals in the 90th and 91st minutes.
"Japan is a better team than the score indicates, and that's one of the reasons it was a great win," U.S. coach Tony DiCicco. "We showed power and flair and a commitment to the game, which is the U.S. team at its best. The challenge now is to duplicate this every match."
United States 9, Japan 0
Lineups: United States - Tracy Ducar, Carla Overbeck (Lorrie Fair 46), Joy Fawcett, Kate Sobrero, Brandi Chastain, Michelle Akers (Sara Whalen 46), Julie Foudy (Aly Wagner 46), Kristine Lilly (Tisha Venturini 60), Cindy Parlow (Danielle Fotopoulos 46), Tiffeny Milbrett, Mia Hamm; Japan - Nozomi Yamago, Tomoe Sakai, Mai Nakachi, Hiromi Isozaki, Kaoru Nagatome, Miyuki Yanagita (Yayoi Kobayashi 75), Tomomi Mitsui, Homare Sawa, Mito Isaka, Nami Otake, Tamaki Uchiyama.
Shots: United States 35, Japan 0. Saves: United States 0, Japan 15. Corner kicks: United States 19, Japan 0. Fouls: United States 12, Japan 15. Offside: United States 4, Japan 1.
Referee: Nancy Lay (United States). Assistant referees: Donna Cornwall (United States), Kim Oberle (United States). Attendance: 10,119 at Ericsson Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. Weather: Steady drizzle, 48 degrees.