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Norway wins again 2-1 on fine strike by Riise just after halftime.

BOCA RATON, Fla. (Wednesday, February 9, 2000) -- Striker Hege Riise netted a difficult volley early in the second half to lift Norway to a 2-1 triumph over the United States this afternoon played amid blustery winds at Florida Atlantic University.

Unlike Sunday, when Norway defeated the U.S. 3-2 before 12,032 fans, this match was played without an audience, except for the media, in winds gusting from 15-to-20 miles per hour.

The loss marked the first time since 1993 the U.S. lost two straight games and first time since 1992 it dropped two in a row on home soil.

With the score tied at 1-1 in the 52d minute, defender Bente Kvitland launched a ball from near midfield. The wind carried the ball into the penalty area where the sprinting Riise hit a difficult volley, gathering herself under the ball and striking it with the inside of her right foot from eight yards out. Her shot went over goalkeeper Siri Mullinix, who replaced Briana Scurry at halftime.

"Obviously, we are disappointed in the result," said U.S. defender Carla Overbeck. "It's not the Olympics, but we still want to win every game. Still, it's a great experience every time, especially for the young players, to play against such a quality team like Norway."

The U.S. opened the scoring, starting with a corner kick from Shannon MacMillan in the 13th minute. It flew over the goal-mouth traffic and to Jena Kluegel in the left side of the box. The 20-year Kluegel, playing in her first game for the national team, beat her defender to the end line and crossed to Christie Welsh at the far post. The 18-year-old forward met the ball and bounced her shot back across the goal into the left corner from eight yards out for her second international goal.

The lead, however, was short-lived with Norway equalizing three minutes later. Norwegian striker Marianne Pettersen won a ball from defender Michelle French in the Americans' defense third and raced in on goal. With French in tow, Peterson poked the ball past Briana Scurry into the near post to tie the game at 1-1. It was Pettersen's 51st international tally.

By the end of the match, there were just three U.S. players from the last summer's Women's World Cup champion on the field.

"The slower you integrate the new players, the more you prolong the decisions," said Heinrichs, who used 25 players in the two matches with Norway. "The fact that we have a light at the end of the tunnel gives us some urgency, which is good. We are just a little bit vulnerable right now and are having too many lapses in concentration."

Heinrichs made 10 changes from the 18-player roster from Sunda's match. Forwards Mia Hamm, midfielders Julie Foudy and Kristine Lilly, and defenders Joy Fawcett, Brandi Chastain and Kate Sobrero's, all starters from the Women's World Cup, were not active today.

The only players to start both matches were striker Tiffeny Milbrett, MacMillan and defender Nandi Pryce.

Norway 2, United States 1

Lineups: United States - Briana Scurry (Siri Mullinix 46), Danielle Slaton, Carla Overbeck (Sara Whalen 46), Michelle French, Nandi Pryce, Shannon MacMillan (Lorrie Fair 46), Michelle Akers (Aly Wagner 46), Tisha Venturini, Jena Kluegel, Tiffeny Milbrett, Christy Welsh (Alyssa Ramsey 70). Norway - Bente Nordby, Bente Kvitland, Goril Kringen, Anne Tonnesen (Kristin Bekkevold 55), Brit Sandaune, Hege Riise, Anita Rapp (Solveig Gulbrandsen 28), Siljie Jorgensen (Unni Lehn 70), Monica Knudsen, Ingrid C.F. Saethre (Kjersti Thun 55), Marianne Pettersen (Dagny Mellgren 55).

United States - Welsh (Kluegel) 13.
Norway - Petterson (unassisted) 16.
Norway - Riise (Kvitland) 52.

Shots: United States 6, Norway 8. Saves: United States 1, Norway 2. Corner kicks: United States 3, Norway 3. Fouls: United States 11, Norway 19. Offside: United States 3, Norway 4. Yellow card caution: United States - Overbeck 30; Norway - Gulbrandsen 45, Kringen 73.

Referee: Todd Perry (United States). Assistant referee: Maria Amatulli (United States), Adrienne Wasserman (United States). Attendance: none; closed door at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, fla. Weather: High winds, 72 degrees.

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