Milbrett nets another winner in 1-0 decision over Norway.OSNABRUCK, Germany (Sunday, July 16, 2000) -- Striker Tiffeny Milbrett provided the winning goal for the second match in a row for the United States women who logged a workmanlike effort in defeating Norway 1-0, to open the DFB Jubilee Tournament before 2,500 at Piepenbrock Stadium this afternoon.
Milbrett, who scored the winning goal against Brazil in the championship game of the CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup on July 3, netted the gameís only goal in the 59th minute on a solo slalom through the Norwegian defense.
"It was a little bit of a sluggish game," said Milbrett, who scored her 77th international goal. "Both teams didn't make the quickest decisions out there, especially in the first half, but then we got a goal and after that, we really tried to protect our lead."
A light rain painted a cool mist over the field at the start of the match, making for slippery conditions for the predictably combative U.S.-Norway clash. A somewhat heavy-legged U.S. team showed the effects of international travel after arriving in Europe three days ago, but gutted out the victory with tough and organized defense, and a moment of inspiration from Milbrett.
It was the second straight victory for the U.S. women over Norway after dropping two matches to their arch-rivals in February in Florida. The U.S. also won 1-0 in the Algarve Cup Final in Portugal last March and now has moved within one game of equaling the all-time series, which currently stands at 12-13-1. Norway is the only team in the world with an all-time winning record against the U.S. women, but the Americans will get a chance to rectify the situation when it travels to Norway for two matches after this tournament.
The two nations will also meet in the opening game of the 2000 Summer Olympics September 14 in Melbourne.
"Of course we want to win every game, but I think if you ask either team, the game we want to win is in the Olympics," said Hamm who was given the honor of wearing the captainís arm band today as she joined teammate Kristine Lilly as the only two players to exceed 200 caps. She received the game ball after the match.
The U.S. nearly went ahead three minutes into the match when defender Brandi Chastain whipped in a cross from left side that flashed by Milbrett and skipped to Lilly, but her sizzling volley drew a spectacular flying save from Norwegian goalkeeper Bente Nordby.
While the U.S. was the more effective team throughout the match, Norway did create a handful of quality chances, and the Scandinavians answered in the sixth minute. Dagny Mellgren ran onto a long ball over the U.S. defense and engaged in a footrace with Kate Sobrero, but the U.S. defender ran her down and forced a shot over the crossbar.
In the 18th minute, a goal mouth scramble after a Norwegian corner kick caused momentary danger, but the U.S. managed to clear the ball away. In the 24th minute, U.S. goalkeeper Siri Mullinix dove to knock down a curling free kick from Riise, her only save of the game.
Two minutes later, Norway created what was perhaps its best chance when Marianne Pettersen turned toward goal after receiving a pass in middle, but Mullinix rushed out to cut down the angle and her sliced shot nicked the outside of left post on its was to a goal kick.
Milbrett provided some foreshadowing just before halftime when she broke through the defense, and rounded Nordby, but took the ball too wide and shot hard into the side netting as she fell out of bounds.
Norway had just two shots in the second half, but both were near goals.
Cindy Parlow's started a sequence of opportunities at the beginning of the second half, forcing Nordby into a diving save in the 48th minute on a drive from distance.
Two minutes later, Pettersen took advantage of an opportunity in the 50th minute after running onto a long ball behind the U.S. defense, but shot high from a steep angle as the defenders closed in.
In the 54th minute, American defender Christie Pearce let a ball bounce under her foot, but showed lightning-quick recovering speed as she slid to block the shot of substitute Solveig Gulbrandsen.
Nordby came up big on Lilly again in the 74th minute, fully extending to palm a bending shot wide of the post after Lilly had curled a blast from outside the box which had eyes for the left corner.
Norway turned up pressure during the last 15 minutes against the tiring U.S. side that was intent on protecting its lead. But the U.S. solid in winning balls on ground and in air as the back line of Fawcett, Sobrero, Pearce and Danielle Slaton (who came on for Chastain at halftime) held tough.
Sobrero played the match wearing a plastic mask after breaking her nose in an indoor training match just before departing for Germany. Mullinix, who once again was aggressive off her line in patrolling the space behind the her defense, picked up her 11th shutout of 2000, one short of a U.S. record for a calendar year.
The U.S. takes on China on Wednesday in its second match of the tournament, staged in conjunction with celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the German Football Federation (DFB).
China defeated Germany 3-1 in another tournament game.
United States 1, Norway 0Lineups: United States - Siri Mullinix, Christie Pearce, Joy Fawcett, Kate Sobrero, Brandi Chastain (Danielle Slaton 46), Kristine Lilly, Lorrie Fair (Nikki Serlenga 46), Julie Foudy, Shannon MacMillan, Cindy Parlow (Shannon MacMillan 63), Tiffeny Milbrett, Mia Hamm (captain). Norway - Bente Nordby, Goril Kringen - captain (Gro Espeseth 63), Bente Kvitland (Silje Jorgensen 46), Brit Sandaune, Anne Tonnessen, Solveig Gulbrandsen, Monica Knudsen (Unni Lehn 63), Anita Rapp (Margunn Haugenes 52), Hege Riise, Dagny Melgren, Marianne Pettersen.
Shots: United States 13, Norway 6. Saves: United States 1, Norway 5. Corner kicks: United States 5, Norway 1. Fouls: United States 7, Norway 14. Offside: United States 3, Norway 4. Yellow card caution: Norway - Knudsen 62.
Referee: Antje Witteweg (Germany). Attendance: 2,500 at Piepenbrock Stadium in Osnabruck, Germany. Weather: Cool, cloudy, light rain, 58 degrees.