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Americans squelch Japan again 7-0.

By Gary Davidson
SoccerTimes

ATLANTA (Sunday, May 2, 1999) -- For the second time in three days, the United States women routed Japan.

Shannon MacMillan and Danielle Fotopoulos scored two goals apiece and Mia Hamm ended an eight-match scoring drought with her 105th career tally in the 7-0 victory before 14,652 at Dekalb Memorial Stadium.

On Thursday, in Charlotte, N.C., the U.S. outshot Japan 35-0 in a 9-0 drubbing. Today, the shot advantage was 20-4, though the U.S. net was never seriously threatened.

The American halftime lead on Thursday was 3-0; today, it was 2-0 on goals by MacMillan and Hamm in a one-minute span.

In the 15th minute, Hamm lost a defender in the penalty box, but launched her shot over the crossbar. One minute later, she hit the left goal post off a short cross from Julie Foudy. Then in the 17th minute, she beat her defender to the endline and crossed to MacMillan, who held off her defender to tap the ball in from three yards out.

Then in the 18th minute, Hamm hit a low 20-yard shot that skipped inside the left post to make it 2-0. With the tally, Hamm pulled even with retired Italian Carolina Morace in second on the all-time international goal scoring list at 105. The pair trails another retired Italian, Elisabetta Vignotto who netted 107 career goals.

The eight-game drought was the longest of Hammís career with her first international goal coming in July, 1990.

"The monkey on my back was becoming a gorilla," Hamm said. I was happy to score . . . I always want to score goals, but the most important thing is that we win. We've got so many players that can score, and I think you saw that today. If I'm not putting the ball in the net, someone will step up to get the job done."

U.S. coach Tony DiCicco, in his final stages of his decision-making process for his 20-player Women's World Cup roster, gave 18-year-old Aly Wagner her first international start in the midfield and gave rare starts to Sara Whalen and Tiffany Roberts on the back line.

Fotopoulos came off the bench to score the first two American goals her sixth and seventh career tallies -- of the second half just four minutes apart, volleying in MacMillan's short cross in the 64th minute and heading home Christie Pearce's cross in the 68th, both from inside the six-yard box.

Whalen made a statement for a spot on the team with a 50-yard solo run in the 81st minute, finally sliding to slot her shot into the lower left corner for her second international score.

MacMillan added her second goal and 18th of her career -- just one minute later, running onto Cindy Parlow's cross in the right side of the penalty box. She cut back hard into the middle, lost a defender, and slammed her left-footed shot into the near post from 10 yards out.

In the 87th minute, second-half substitute Tisha Venturini scored her third goal in the last four games, controlling a loose ball in the penalty box before driving her left-footed shot into the right corner at the near post, her was 41st international goal.

Kristine Lilly came on as substitute for only the fifth time in her career, earning her world-best 175th career cap.

U.S. goalkeeper Siri Mullinix, battling for the third goalkeeper position on the Women's World Cup Team, earned her first full international cap, playing the second half and making one save. Tiffeny Milbrett, who scored four times against Japan on Thursday, got the day off as did defenders Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett and Kate Sobrero.

United States 7, Japan 0

Lineups: United States - Briana Scurry (Siri Mullinix, 46), Carla Overbeck (Christie Pearce 46), Lorrie Fair, Tiffany Roberts, Sara Whalen, Michelle Akers (Danielle Fotopoulos 46), Julie Foudy (Tisha Venturini 46), Aly Wagner, Cindy Parlow, Shannon MacMillan, Mia Hamm (Kristine Lilly, 46); Japan - Naoko Nishigai, Tomoe Sakai (Rie Yamaki 46), Mai Nakachi (Kaoru Nagadome 46), Yumi Tomei, Hiromi Isozaki, Miyuki Yanagita (Yayoi Kobayashi 46, Ayumi Hara, 78), Tomomi Mitsui, Homare Sawa, Mito Isaka (Kazumi Kishi 88), Nami Otake, Tamaki Uchiyama.

Scoring:
United States - MacMillan (Hamm) 17;
United States - Hamm (Foudy) 18;
United States - Fotopoulos (MacMillan) 64;
United States - Fotopoulos (Pearce) 68;
United States - Sara Whalen (unassisted) 81;
United States - MacMillan (Parlow) 82;
United States - Venturini (unassisted) 87.

Shots: United States 20, Japan 4. Saves: United States 2, Japan 6. Corner kicks: United States 13, Japan 0. Fouls: United States 11, Japan 13. Offside: United States 3, Japan 1. Yellow card caution: Japan - Otake 85.

Referee: Tim Weyland (United States). Assistant referees: Griff Sims, (United States), Renzo Gentile (United States). Attendance: 14,652 at Dekalb Memorial Stadium in Atlanta. Weather: Sunny, clear, 81 degrees.

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