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Hamm, Milbrett lead way in 4-2 ‘sendoff’ victory over Canada.

PORTLAND, Ore. (Sunday, June 6, 1999) -- Mia Hamm had a goal and two assists while teammate Tiffeny Milbrett added a goal and one assist in the United States women’s 4-2 victory over Canada today before 23,325 at Civic Stadium.

Canadian forward Charmaine Hooper had two goals in the losing effort, including putting her side up 1-0 in the seventh minute and tying the score at 2-2 in the 43d.

Then, moments before intermission, Kristine Lilly took a short pass from Hamm, dribbled across the top of the penalty box and slammed her shot off the underside of the crossbar and over the goalline for a 3-2 lead at the break.

"This was a good game for us," said Lilly, who scored the 74th goal of her international career. "We got caught twice and went a goal down, but that was good for us. Not that we want to be in that situation, but we came back and finished four great goals."

The match was a final tune-up for the Americans before opening the Women’s World Cup against Denmark June 19 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Hooper outjumped the U.S. defense to send a crackling header into the left corner of the net from seven yards out after running onto a cross from Janette Haas for the early 1-0 advantage. The goal ended a streak of six matches in which the Americans had not allowed a goal.

Canada's lead was short-lived because four minutes later. Milbrett, playing in her hometown where she starred at the University of Portland, penetrated the middle, drawing two defenders before passing to Hamm on the left flank. Hamm collected the ball, cut hard into the middle and rolled her shot into the left corner for her 109th career international goal. It was her fifth straight game in which she has scored.

Six minutes later, Hamm returned the favor, streaking down the right sideline before cutting to the goal and slotting a low far post cross for the slashing Milbrett to pound home from four yards out.

"The fans are getting geared up for the Women's World Cup. We felt their intensity today," said Milbrett, who netted her 59th career goal. "The World Cup will be our toughest competition ever, but that's what we live for."

Hooper again brought her team back into the game in the 43d minute, deftly collecting a long ball in the penalty box. She held off U.S. defender Carla Overbeck, cut the ball behind her leg and powered her shot into the near post from four yards out past U.S. goalkeeper Briana Scurry.

The U.S. peppered the Canadian net with shots all match, compiling a 29-7 edge in shots, but Canada played an attacking game as well and produced several scoring chances. Canadian goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc to make 14 saves. LeBlanc saved several point blank shots in the match, including stops of Milbrett in the 15th minute and Lilly in the 65th, but could do nothing about the final goal in the 83rd minute. Cindy Parlow went high to head home Shannon MacMillan's corner kick from the right side.

"It was a very good tune-up game, better than I thought it would be," U.S. coach Tony DiCicco said. "It made us realize that some aspects of our game still need to improve. Our marking wasn't good enough, our heading and closing on defense weren't good enough, but we also played very well in a lot of areas." The U.S. is off until June 14 when the team will regroup in New Jersey.

United States 4, Canada 2

Lineups: United States - Briana Scurry, Carla Overbeck, Kate Sobrero, Joy Fawcett, Sara Whalen, Brandi Chastain, Kristine Lilly, Julie Foudy (Sara Whalen 67), Tiffeny Milbrett, Cindy Parlow, Mia Hamm (Shannon MacMillan 77). Canada - Karina LeBlanc, Sharolta Nonen, Tanya Franck, Geri Donnelly (Sara Joly 76), Janine Helland, Charmaine Hooper, Shannon Rosenow (Sara Maglio 72), Amy Walsh, Suzanne Muir, Jenette Haas (Isabelle Harvey, 64), Silvana Burtini (Mary Beth Bowie 59).

Canada - Hooper (Haas) 7.
United States - Hamm (Milbrett) 11.
United States - Milbrett (Hamm) 17.
Canada - Hooper (Franck) 43.
United States - Lilly (Hamm) 45.
United States - Parlow (MacMillan) 83.

Shots: United States 29, Canada 7 Saves: United States 3, Canada 14. Corner kicks: United States 12, Canada 2. Fouls: United States 7, Canada 11. Offside: United States 12, Canada 2.

Referee: Ricardo Valenzuela (United States). Assistant referees: Mohammad Zarrabi-Kashani (United States), Mohammad Sagankhaneh (United States). Attendance: 23,325 at Civic Stadium in Portland, Ore. Weather: 55 degrees; cool, partly cloudy.

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