U.S. to face Norway Sunday for title after blanking Denmark 3-0.FJOLNIS, Iceland (Friday, August 6, 1999) -- The United States under-21 women used goals by Raven McDonald, Jenny Streiffer and Susan Bush to blank Denmark today to earn a spot in the Nordic Cup championship match.
The U.S. will face Norway in Sunday’s title match, the third straight year the two nations have met to decide the championship. The Americans won in 1997 on Streiffer’s 100th-minute goal; Norway prevailed last year 2-1.
The U.S. (3-0, 9 points, plus-11 goal differential) was in good position to advance before stepping on the field, needing only a victory, tie or even a one-goal loss to win Group 2.
"It was a great team win," said U.S. coach Lauren Gregg. "Our team is evolving every time we step on the field and is committed to being the best. Once again, we had significant contribution from all the players, including the subs. This team effort has been a consistent theme and critical to our success."
With time winding down in the first half, Danielle Slaton (San Jose, Calif.) hit a free kick from just outside the penalty box on the left side. Slaton's low liner was dummied by Lauren Orlandos (Lake Forest, Calif.) and skimmed across the turf to McDonald, who slotted her shot into the right corner from five yards out.
The U.S. went up 2-0 in the 62d minute when Streiffer (Baton Rouge, La.) netted a rebound from three yards after Meredith Florance's (Dallas) shot from 10 yards out hit off the back of a defender and squirted to Streiffer’s feet.
"It's nice that the pressure of the first round is off of us," Streiffer said. "Now we only have one game to focus on. Norway is always a challenge that we look forward to and we're glad to have the opportunity to reclaim the championship from the team we lost to last year."
Bush (Houston), who suffered a strained right knee during pre-Nordic Cup training camp, saw her first action of the tournament when she replaced Florance in the 77th minute. Eight minutes later, Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.) lobbed a cross from the left wing that Danish goalkeeper Tina Cederkvist misjudged. She let the hanging cross bounce under her to Bush, who ran onto the ball, took a touch around the keeper and shot into the open net from close range.
"My objectives with this team are to win the tournament, establish a winning tradition at all levels and develop players for the full national team while instilling the necessary training habits in our next national team players," Gregg said. "I couldn't be more pleased with the investment by this group of young women to all of these goals."
A win in the Nordic Cup final would complete an unprecedented "triple" for the U.S. women following the Women’s World Cup victory and the under-18s 1-0 victory over Mexico yesterday to take the first Pan American Games women’s soccer gold medal.
Norway needed to come from behind to beat Australia 3-1 to place first in Group 1. In Group 2, Germany and Finland tied 2-2. In Group 1, Sweden defeated Iceland 1-0.
Finland will face Sweden for third place, Iceland plays Denmark for fifth and Australia takes on Germany for seventh.
United States 3, Denmark 0Line-ups: United States: Siri Mullinix (Lakeysia Beene 46), Ronnie Fair, Michelle French, Lauren Orlandos, Danielle Slaton, Aly Wagner, Jen Grubb, Jenny Streiffer (Kalli Kamholz 77), Veronica Zepeda (Aleisha Cramer 30), Meredith Florance (Susan Bush 77), Raven McDonald (Venus James 62); Denmark: Tina Cederkvist, Catherine P. Sorensen (Janne Madsen), Anne S Nielsen, Mitzi Moller, Sandra Jorgensen, Dorte Dalum Jensen, Tini Lyng, Anja Moller, Nadja Kjaeldgaard, Mette Jokumsen, Linda Nissen.
Shots: United States 10, Denmark 3. Saves: United States 2, Denmark 4. Corner kicks: United States 5, Denmark 2. Fouls: United States 5, Denmark 9. Offside: United States 5, Denmark 0.
Referee: Marie-Louise Svanstrom (Sweden). Assistant referees: Erlendur Eiriksson (Iceland), Oddbergur Eiriksson (Iceland). Attendance: 125 in Fjolins, Iceland. Weather: 66 degrees, sunny.