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U.S. U-21 women's player pool

Nordic Cup

Wagner nets a pair as United States blanks Germany, nears final.

BORGARNES, Iceland (Wednesday, Augist 4, 1999) -- Aly Wagner scored twice and created the foul that led to captain Michelle French’s penalty kick as the United States handled Germany 3-0 in the Nordic Cup, which is the closest thing under-21 women have to a world championship.

The U.S. (2-0, 6 points, plus-3 goal differential, needs a victory or tie Friday against Denmark (1-1, 3 points, plus-1). To win Group 2 and play Sunday for the championship. Even a one-goal loss would allow the Americans to play for the title, which they won last in 1997.

"The chemistry within this team is tremendous," Wagner said. "With two wins behind us, we're very confident going into Friday's match against Denmark. We are very pleased with our performance today against Germany and definitely excited about our continued improvement from game to game."

Finland (1-1, 3 points, 0) defeated Denmark today. Germany is out of contention at 0-2, despite having six players from its World Cup team.

In Group 1 action, Norway (2-0, 6 points, plus-9) virtually clinched a title berth after posting a 2-0 victory over Sweden (1-1, 3 points, plus-1). Iceland (1-1, 3 points, minus-6) edged winless Australia (0-2, 0 points, minus-4) 2-1.

French’s corner kick set up the first American tally in the 13th minute. At the back post, Wagner outjumped a defender to send a header high into the top of the net from five yards out.

The Americans doubled their lead to 2-0 in the 62d minute. Jenny Streiffer's cross from right found the slashing Wagner inside the penalty area. She took a touch and placed a 12-yard shot into the left corner past fully-extended German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer.

"We had a game plan, the players executed and the result was a brilliant performance by this young team," said U.S. coach Lauren Gregg. "Our team defense was outstanding and neutralized an experienced German team. The back line of French, Danielle Slaton, Ronnie Fair and Lauren Orlandos was impenetrable. We played with a resolve and commitment to victory."

Wagner also created the third goal when German midfielder Havva Kulta tugged her down by her jersey in penalty box, nullifying what would have been a one-on-one with the goalkeeper. French closed the deal, nailing her penalty kick into bottom left corner to make it 3-0 in the 72d minute.

"We generated numerous scoring opportunities despite the absence of Susan Bush," said Gregg, who is expecting her star forward back for the Denmark match after recovering from a knee sprain. "In typical U.S. fashion, we had many players contribute to our offensive potency. Aly Wagner scored two beautiful goals, Jen Streiffer's distribution shredded their defense and Meredith Florance once again gave us excellent mobility up top."

Gregg made just one change in the lineup from Monday's 1-0 victory over Finland, replacing goalkeeper Lakeysia Beene with Siri Mullinix, who made two saves and picked up the shutout.

United States 3, Germany 0

Line-ups: United States: Siri Mullinix, Ronnie Fair (Kalli Kamholz 73), Michelle French (captain), Lauren Orlandos, Danielle Slaton, Aly Wagner, Jen Grubb, Jenny Streiffer, Veronica Zepeda (Aleisha Cramer 46), Meredith Florance (Venus James 79), Raven McDonald (Beth Keller 52); Germany: Nadine Angerer, Sonja Fuss, Stefanie Gottschlich, Tina Wunderlich, Janette Gotte, Conny Pohlers (Havva Kulta), Nicole Muller, Ariane Hingst, Madleen Wilder, Tanja Vreden (Carmen Roth), Katharina Lindner.

United States - Wagner (French) 13;
United States - Wagner (Streiffer) 62;
United States - French (penalty kick) 72.

Shots: United States 17, Germany 9. Saves: United States 2, Germany 5. Corner kicks: United States 10, Germany 3. Fouls: United States 9, Germany 5. Offside: United States 5, Germany 1. Yellow card caution: United States - Grubb 66, Orlandos 75; Germany - Kulta 72.

Referee: Tonje Overgaard (Norway). Assistant referees: Marino Porsteinsson (Iceland), Pordur Ingi Guojnsson (Iceland). Attendance: 85 in Borgarnes, Iceland. Weather: 76 degrees, sunny.

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