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Lilly's penalty kick is all the Americans can convert in 1-1 tie with Canada.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Sunday, August 20, 2000) -- With one game remaining before departing for the Summer Olympics in Australia, suddenly the United States women have reason for concern.

For the second straight outing, the Americans could only manage a penalty-kick goal in tying a seemingly inferior opponent 1-1. Today, despite piling up a 31-5 margin in shots and a 14-1 edge in corner kicks, the U.S. women drew with Canada before a supportive crowd of 21,246 at Arrowhead Stadium.

After a 1-1 tie with Russia Tuesday in a closed-door match, two days after routing the Russians 7-1, the Americans, now 21-1-1 against its northern neighbor, saw a 21-game winning streak against Canada end.

The match was played in sweltering 100-degree temperatures, but the heat did not seem to slow the American attack which peppered the Canadian net with shots from start to finish. A strong effort in goal from Karina LeBlanc kept U.S. off the board for most of the match, but the Americans were also guilty of squandering dangerous scoring opportunities, frequently missing the goal frame from close in or putting shots right at the keeper. Ten of the Americansí 31 shots were on frame.

The U.S. took a 1-0 lead in the 74th minute when second-half substitute Cindy Parlow earned a penalty-kick call with a tremendous solo effort. Parlow won the ball from Canadian defender Sharolta Nonen on the left sideline with a perfect sliding tackle, then rose to her feet and turned the corner on Marie-Claude Dion, who chopped her down from behind on the end line.

Kristine Lilly
Kristine Lilly
Midfielder Kristine Lilly stepped up and rolled her shot into the right corner for her first goal in 19 matches and 85th of her international career.

The U.S. didnít lead for long. Within the next minute, Kristina Kiss launched a free-kick into the penalty box from the right sideline. U.S. goalkeeper Briana Scurry came out, but she missed her attempt to punch the ball away at the far post. Canadian captain Amy Walsh got a piece of the ball and looped her header over Scurry and toward the net. U.S. defender Kate Sobrero cleared the ball away before it hit the ground, but the ball had crossed the line and it was 1-1.

Scurry replaced starter Siri Mullinix in 23rd minute after Canadian forward Charmaine Hooper went in cleats first on Mullinix, leaving a serious contusion on her right knee. Her reckless challenge probably should have earned Hooper expulsion, but she escaped with a yellow card. Mullinix made a big save on a Hooper breakaway just four minutes into the game, cutting down the angle quickly before knocking away a point-blank shot 12 yards off her line.

The Americans dominated possession during the game and effectively shut down Canada's talented strike force of forwards Hooper, Silvana Burtini and 17-year-old Christine Sinclair, but Canada's defense was organized, tough and disruptive.

"I think we played pretty well," U.S. striker Mia Hamm said. "We were a bit fatigued now and that led to a couple of technical breakdowns, but you have to give Canada credit. They came out and played hard and pressured us all over the field. Our mindset coming into every game has to be to go out there and take it from the other team. No other team is going to give it to us. We have to play for 90 minutes because one half isn't going to do it. We're all looking forward to going on the break and coming back revived, rejuvenated and refocused."

Lilly was all over the field for the U.S. and fired numerous shots during the match, but most were from distance and flew high. Hamm almost scored a spectacular goal in the 56th minute when she pulled the trigger from 40 yards away, but LeBlanc got a hand on the ball to push it off the crossbar.

Canada had one great chance in the second half when Sinclair broke through on a counterattack in the 58th minute, but she shot wide left as defender Christie Pearce closed fast. Lilly then had a chance on the other end of the field when she got on the end of a quality weak side pass, but her drive to the near post from eight yards was pushed around the post by LeBlanc.

Parlow came into the match in the 57th minute and the U.S. switched to a 3-4-3 and immediately added a spark to the attack. In the 60th minute, striker Tiffeny Milbrett beat Sharolta Nonen down the flank and spun a cross to Parlow, but her shot went wide left. Milbrett had three golden chances in the second half. The first came in the 68th minute when Joy Fawcett sent a long free-kick into the penalty box and Hamm headed it down into Milbrett's path, but her screaming volley went wide right. In the 70th minute, Milbrett worked herself free in the penalty box, but LeBlanc snagged her bending shot. In the 82nd minute, Parlow put Milbrett behind the defense and she raced in on a breakaway, but bounced her shot left of the goal. In all, Milbrett took 11 shots.

"At the end of the game, I got (the team) together and reminded them that this is not going to be easy," Heinrichs said. "There is no team in the world that is going to give them the Olympic gold medal. I asked them if they wanted to win the gold medal and if they were prepared to do the work that it takes. From their reaction, I know they are."

The Americans now take six days off before regrouping at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in San Diego for several days of training. A September 1 date with Brazil at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif. is all that remains before leaving for the Olympics.

United States 1, Canada 1

Lineups: United States - Siri Mullinix (Briana Scurry 23), Christie Pearce, Joy Fawcett, Kate Sobrero, Brandi Chastain (Cindy Parlow 57), Kristine Lilly, Julie Foudy, Lorrie Fair, Shannon MacMillan, Tiffeny Milbrett, Mia Hamm (Michelle Akers 77). Canada - Karina LeBlanc, Breanna Boyd, Sharolta Nonen, Isabelle Morneau, Marie-Claude Dion, Andrea Neil, Amy Walsh, Kristina Kiss, Christine Sinclair, Silvana Burtini (Katie Lee 77), Charmaine Hooper.

Scoring:
United States - Lilly (penalty kick) 74.
Canada - Walsh (Kiss) 75.

Shots: United States 31, Canada 5. Saves: United States 2, Canada 9. Corner kicks: United States 14, Canada 1. Fouls: United States 11, Canada 23. Offside: United States 4, Canada 1. Yellow card cautions: Canada - Hooper 20, Boyd 41.

Referee: Ali Saheli (United States). Assistant referees: Shahram Pourazari (United States), Calin Znamirovschi (United States). Attendance: 21,246 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. Weather: Very hot, breezy, 100 degrees.

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