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Algarve Cup

Parlow’s hat trick leads to 7-0 rout of Portugal in Algarve Cup.

ALBUFEIRA, Portugal (Sunday, March 12, 2000) -- Striker Cindy Parlow netted three goals for the United States which blasted Portugal 7-0 to open the 2000 Algarve Cup in a match that was delayed, then moved, due heavy rains that turned the field at Francisco Viera Stadium in Silves into a quagmire.

With as much as three inches of standing water soaking the pitch, the Norwegian referee crew deemed the field unplayable, and after discussions between the referees, tournament officials and both teams, it was agreed to move the game to the Americans’ training field in Albufeira.

The match kicked off 75 minutes after its scheduled time, but the delay did little to slow down the U.S. team, which scored three goals in a six-minute span before the game was 12 minutes old.

Parlow registered the first hat trick of her international career, getting two goals in the first half, pairing up top with Tiffeny Milbrett for the first time in a 4-4-2 formation.

The margin of victory was the largest ever for the U.S. in the Algarve Cup, a tournament it has failed to win in five previous attempts. Next up in Group A is Denmark Tuesday before finishing the preliminary round Thursday against Sweden.

The U.S. must win its group to play in Saturday’s title match against the winner of Group B, which includes, China, Norway, Finland and Canada.

In today’s other Group A match, Sweden edged Denmark 1-0. In Group B, Norway defeated Finland, 2-0, while Sun Wen paced China with two goals in a 4-0 victory over Canada.

Against the U.S., it was Portugal that had the first scoring opportunity, whistling a free-kick past the Americans’ left post with two minutes elapsed. It would be the last quality chance for the hosts, leaving U.S. goalkeeper Siri Mullinix with little to do in picking up her first shutout in her second international appearance.

The U.S. grabbed a 1-0 advantage in the fifth minute. Midfielder Kristine Lilly powered her way past a defender on the left flank, carrying to the end line toward goal before finding a cutting Parlow in the seam. Parlow touched home her tally from close range.

Less than 60 seconds later, midfielder Shannon MacMillan picked off a pass on the right side of the Portugal defense, beat a player and smacked her shot into the upper right corner from 20 yards out.

Five minutes later, Parlow made it 3-0, collecting a pass with her back to the goal from Milbrett before spinning around her defender and placing her shot in the lower corner from 18 yards.

Joy Fawcett, the highest scoring defender in U.S. history, finished the first-half scoring with a 30-yard bending blast in the 22d minute after running on to a pass from midfielder Tisha Venturini.

Twice in the first half, the U.S. had shot bang off the goal frame: defender Lorrie Fair's blast in the 21st minute which was pushed off the crossbar by Portuguese goalkeeper Olga Garcia and Parlow's header off the bar in the 33d.

Former national team captain April Heinrichs registered the first victory of her international coaching career. "Games offer a different kind of pressure than training, especially in some of the tackling," she said. "Every now and then it's good to have a game like this to establish some possession and get our legs under us."

The U.S.'s first two goals in the second half came off headers. The 5-foot-11 Parlow sliced through the penalty area and rose to strike a glancing header, re-directing Lilly's corner kick into the lower right corner of net in the 63d minute. Venturini then tallied in the 67th minute, meeting Sara Whalen's cross from the right side to stretch the net with a bullet from four yards out.

"It's great to start off such a high-quality tournament with a game like this, especially coming back from my injury," said Parlow, who upped her career international goal total to 29 in her first game of 2000 after recovering from a hamstring pull. "With a new formation and some players in different positions, it builds confidence for the whole team."

Midfielder Julie Foudy, who entered the game in the 65th minute for Lilly in the left flank midfield, finished the scoring in the 88th minute on a play started with a long service from Mullinix to striker Christie Welsh, who flicked the ball over the Portuguese back line. A streaking Foudy went around a defender and slotted the ball into the left corner for the 33d goal of her career.

"A lot of players got to play at least a half today and that's a great way to start a tournament," Foudy said. "When your whole roster has success it builds confidence for the whole team heading into the next three games."

United States 7, Portugal 0

Lineups: United States - Siri Mullinix, Christie Pearce, Carla Overbeck (Brandi Chastain 46), Kate Sobrero, Joy Fawcett (Danielle Slaton 46), Kristine Lilly (Julie Foudy 65), Lorrie Fair, Tisha Venturini, Shannon MacMillan (Sara Whalen 46), Tiffeny Milbrett (Christy Welsh 46), Cindy Parlow. Portugal - Olga Garcia, Sandra Silva, Celisa Jassi, Maria Joao Xavier, Paula Santos (Beta 80), Paula Reis, Sonia Silva (Rita Morgado 80), Paula Oliveira (Ana Rita 60), Adilia Martins (Susana Martins 60), Patricia Sequeira (Paula Mesquita 80) (Note: one starter’s name not available).

Scoring:
United States - Parlow (Lilly) 5.
United States - MacMillan (unassisted) 6.
United States - Parlow (Milbrett) 11.
United States - Fawcett (Venturini) 22.
United States - Parlow (Lilly) 63.
United States - Venturini (Whalen) 67.
United States - Foudy (Welsh) 88.

Shots: United States 17, Portugal 3. Saves: United States 1, Portugal 3. Fouls: United States 5, Portugal 15. Corner kicks: United States 10, Portugal 1. Offside: United States 7, Portugal 2. Yellow card cautions: Portugal - Xavier 33, Jassi 84.

Referee: Vibeke Karlsen (Norway). Referee assistants: Ann Wenche Kleven (Norway), Hege Steinlund (Norway). Attendance: 250 at Hotel Montechoro Fields in Albufeira, Portugal. Weather: Overcast, wet, 55 degrees.

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