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Women's Gold Cup

Americans tie Brazil 0-0, place on top of group on coin toss.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (Tuesday, June 27, 2000) – What the United States couldn’t get done on the field was accomplished with a coin toss.

After a 0-0 draw with Brazil before 16,386 at Foxboro Stadium left the two teams tied at 2-0-1 in the Gold Cup’s Group A, a coin flip was won by the U.S., which was placed first.

On Saturday at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville Kentucky, the U.S. will face the second place team from Group B, probably Canada, in one semifinal at 8 p.m., televised on ESPN. That will be preceded by the other semi with Brazil playing the Group A winner, almost certainly China.

The U.S. should have won the game over Brazil. In the waning moments, the Americans were deprived of a clear shot from the center of the penalty area which was overruled by an obviously erroneous offside call.

Then, in possibly a make-up call, the U.S. was give a penalty kick when Formiga was ruled to have undercut midfielder Julie Foudy as she went up for a header in the box.

The contact seemed incidental, but midfielder Kristine Lilly short-legged her penalty attempt and goalkeeper Andreia dove to her left and easily snagged the shot.

"I did one of those things an athlete doesn't do: I changed my mind," Lilly said. "And it was a big mistake."

As both teams had beaten Trinidad & Tobago, 11-0, and Costa Rica, 8-0, earlier in the tournament, the draw knotted the teams in each of the tie-breaking criteria -- total points, head-to-head result, goal differential and goals scored. Brazilian captain called tail and the coin came up heads making the U.S. group winner.

"I've never seen it happen before," said U.S. coach April Heinrichs of the coin flip. "We've heard about it and talked about it, but the ironic thing is to work so hard for 90 minutes and then have it come down to a flip of the thumb."

Siri Mullinix
Siri Mullinix
Goalkeeper Siri Mullinix, earning her ninth shutout in 13 U.S. appearances, made a crucial save in the 82nd minute. Katia stepped through three defenders in the right side of the box and ripped a shot from a sharp save which Mullinix redeirected with a sliding leg save.

"Watching Siri's development over the last four months has been great for me," Heinrichs said. "If you invest in players and let them play, they will grow. A player such as Siri Mullinix has made a marvelous improvement with her opportunity and has stepped through the door."

After an uneventful first half that did have Andreia making a sparkling diving save on Tiffeny Milbrett’s 12 yard rebound try, the U.S. picked up the pace and controlled possession for most of the second half. But the Americans were repeatedly undone by sloppy passing in its attacking third. Still, the U.S. outshot Brazil 18-8.

"The soccer community that is following the women's game in USA needs to understand that the gap is closing," Heinrichs said. "Even from 1996 to 1999, all these countries are emerging as soccer powers. Brazil has made great strides in recent years."

United States 0, Brazil 0

Lineups: United States Siri Mullinix, Christie Pearce, Joy Fawcett, Kate Sobrero, Brandi Chastain, Lorrie Fair, Julie Foudy (captain), Kristine Lilly, Tiffeny Milbrett, Cindy Parlow, Mia Hamm. Brazil - Andreia, Simone Gomes, Juliana, Monica, Daniela Alves, Tania, Cidinha, Formiga, Katia, Sissi (captain), Roseli (Nildinha, 69).

Scoring: none.

Shots: United States 18, Brazil 8. Saves: United States 5, Brazil 7. Corner kicks: United States 13, Brazil 3. Fouls: United States 17, Brazil 13. Offside: United States 8, Brazil 2. Yellow card cautions: Brazil - Monica 19.

Referee: Sonia Denoncourt (Canada). Referee’s assistants: Denise Robinson (Canada), Kimberly Chalmers (Canada). Attendance: 16,386 at Foxboro Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Weather: Wet, humid -- 80 degrees

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