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Hamm establishes goal record with 108th in 3-0 shutout of Brazil.

ORLANDO, Fla., (Saturday, May 22, 1999) -- It was hardly one of Mia Hammís best strikes. But all goals count, and this happened to be the one that allowed Hamm to set a new international record for career goals.

It also was timely. Hammís 108th tally put the United States ahead 1-0 in first-half stoppage time en route to a 3-0 decision over Brazil in a physical match in front of 10,452 fans at the Citrus Bowl.

With the goal, Hamm eclipsed Italian Elisabetta Vignotto, who netted 107 in the 1970s and í80s. Hamm tied the mark last Sunday in a 3-0 victory over The Netherlands in Chicago.

"It was special to get the record on such a great team goal," said Hamm, who played her 172d international match. "We are really starting to feel the excitement building for the Word Cup. We're getting fitter, our confidence is growing and we are fine-tuning the small parts of our game. But there are so many good teams in the tournament and you saw that tonight. It will be a very difficult road to the final."

Goal number 108 came from a dynamic combination of five one-touch passes. The sequence started when Michelle Akers lofted a ball to Hamm about 40 yards from the goal. Hamm nodded the ball down with her head to Kristine Lilly, who popped a pass to Cindy Parlow at the top of the penalty box. Parlow held her defender off and laid the ball into the path of the cutting Hamm. She took a touch as she burst into the right side of the penalty box, fought off a defender and then drove the ball through the legs of Brazilian goalkeeper Didi from 10 yards out to make history.

Hammís tally helped erase a frustrating first half for the Americans, who were in an unaccustomed position of watching an opponent dominate the flow of play. U.S. passing was often imprecise with many unforced errors. The defense at times appeared disorganized.

"I thought we got better as the game progressed," DiCicco said. "Our defense really picked it up and their only real opportunities in the second half came from distance. Carla Overbeck and Kate Sobrero played solid games in the middle to deny (Brazilís) talented dribblers. We really didn't find a rhythm until we started possessing the ball in the second half."

The match saw hard tackling from both teams which drew Brazil four yellow cards and one ejection, as Raquel was tossed in the waning moments of the game for angrily protesting a call from referee Ali Saheli. After the final whistle, several Brazilian players charged Saheli and had to be restrained by the assistant referees and Brazilian team officials.

Brazil, which quickly has grown into a nation capable of proceeding far into the Womenís World Cup that begins next month in seven American cities. Its speedy and deceptive forwards of Maycon and Katia ran continually at the U.S. defense, forcing American goalkeeper Briana Scurry into her busiest game in recent memory. Scurry made 10 saves, denying Katia twice on spectacular saves, one coming in the first half as she snuffed her close-range shot and again in the 56th minute when she guided her long-range blast over the crossbar.

"Brazil is great athletically, very gifted with the ball and plays with a lot of bite," U.S. coach Tony DiCicco said. "As we expected, they are a great team, very sophisticated and are capable of winning the Women's World Cup."

The U.S. increased its advantage to 2-0 in the 72d minute after striker Tiffeny Milbrett bent a cross into the middle. The ball flew over several leaping players to Lilly, who knocked it in off her knee and into the right corner for her 72nd international goal, sixth best on the world scoring list.

The final American tally, in the 87th minute, was steeped in controversy. After a Brazilian defender kicked a ball into the stands, the U.S. took a quick throw-in with a second ball just seconds before the first ball was thrown by a spectator back onto the field. Several Brazilian players paused when referee Ali Saheli grabbed the ball and tossed it back off the field. Defender Brandi Chastain, however, launched a cross to the far post, where Kristine Lilly headed it back into the middle to Milbrett, who slammed her shot into the net on a full volley from close range.

The Brazilians protested vehemently, which bubbled over into Raquel's ejection moments later. We got a couple of breaks, like the last goal, but everyone knows that you have to play until the whistle blows," DiCicco said.

For the first time in 106 matches as U.S. head coach, DiCicco did not use any substitutes.

The U.S. team will take a week off before traveling to the West Coast on June 1 to prepare for two matches in the Portland, Ore, area, its final contests before beginning Women's World Cup play on June 19 against Denmark at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The United States will play a closed-door match versus Australia on June 3 at the Nike Campus in Beaverton, Ore. and three days later will play its "send-off" match against Canada at Civic Stadium, a contest to be broadcast live on ABC at 2 p.m. (ET).

United States 3, Brazil 0

Lineups: United States - Briana Scurry, Carla Overbeck, Kate Sobrero, Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett, Michelle Akers, Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly, Cindy Parlow, Tiffeny Milbrett, Mia Hamm; Brazil - Didi, Nene, Elane, Tania, Paty (Marisa, 55), Cidinha, Formiga, Sissi, Suzana (Raquel 80), Maycon (Pretinha 63), Katia.

Scoring:
United States - Hamm (Parlow) 45+;
United States - Lilly (Milbrett) 72;
United States - Milbrett (Lilly) 87.

Shots: United States 18, Brazil 15. Saves: United States 10, Brazil 2. Corner kicks: United States 7, Brazil 4. Fouls: United States 18, Brazil 8. Offside: United States 2, Brazil 0. Yellow card caution: United States - Fawcett 64, Akers 76; Brazil - Suzana 31, Katis 52, Tania 83, Formiga 87. Red card ejection: Brazil - Racquel 90.

Referee: Ali Saheli (United States). Assistant referees: Kermit Quisenberry (United States), Sharon Wheeler (United States). Attendance: 10,452 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla. Weather: Warm, humid, 78 degrees.

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