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Lilly celebrates 200th cap, assist in 4-0 win over Canada for U.S. Cup.

PORTLAND, Ore. (Sunday, May 7, 2000) -- Four players scored in the second half for the United States women, who won their seventh Nike U.S. Cup with a 4-0 decision over Canada before 7,659 at Civic Stadium this afternoon,

U.S. midfielder Kristine Lilly contributed an assist in a monumental day for her, her 200th international appearance to become the first player, woman or man, to accomplish that milestone. The veteran of three Women's World Cups and one Summer Olympics was carried off the field by her teammates after they had improved the American record to 20-0 in U.S. Cup play.

"She is just a unique and special player and person," said U.S. striker Mia Hamm, Lilly's teammate at University of North Carolina and on the national team for the past 13 years. "She tried to downplay (the 200 caps) all week, but we were not going to let that happen."

The U.S. outshot Canada 32-9 and peppered shots and crosses in the first half without any success in beating goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc in the first half. The best attempt came in the 12th minute when forward Tiffeny Milbrett rocked the right post with a shot from 25 yards out followed by a Kristine Lilly blast seconds later that was pushed wide by the diving LeBlanc.

Midfielder Julie Foudy had two golden chances midway through the first half, but headed one right at LeBlanc and forced the Candian goalkeeper into a point blank save on another. Milbrett sent a screamer just wide of the right post in the 36th minute.

"Teams with shaky chemistry, teams that have rough personalities and teams that are much more me-driven can fall apart at a halftime like that," said U.S. coach April Heinrichs. "That weakness doesn't manifest in an 8-0 win over Mexico, it comes out in a 0-0 tie at halftime of a big tournament. Instead, we came out with a collective knowing that we would wear Canada down, that we would knock the ball around and that we would get our chances. We just had to be patient."

It was Foudy who finally broke through, scoring just 56 seconds after intermission for her 34th international goal. Defender Carla Overbeck played a pass wide right to midfielder Shannon MacMillan, who bent a perfect cross with her first touch to the far post where Foudy leaped to head the ball into the upper left corner for the 1-0 lead.

Striker Cindy Parlow entered the match in the 68th minute and added a spark to the U.S. attack, scoring the second goal and setting up the third. Her goal came in the 75th minute when she ran hard up the middle to get on the end of a short cross from Lilly and finished with a glancing header that stuck in the left corner. It was her 30th international goal.

Five minutes later, Sara Whalen bent a cross into the middle and Parlow skied to snap a bullet header off the cross bar. Milbrett raced in to volley the rebound past the prone LeBlanc, who got a hand on the ball, but couldn't keep it from rolling over the goal line. It was the 70th international goal for Milbrett who has scored in all five matches that the U.S. has played in her hometown of Portland.

"The first half we were struggling to connect our passes," Lilly said. "But we started to clean it up a bit and had some great chance in the first half, then started to finish them in the second half. It is frustrating to dominate and not score, but you have to remember that this is the game of soccer and sometimes that happens. You can have 50 shots on goal and the one that ends up going in will be the winner. You have to be patient and wait for your chances and that's what happened in the second half."

The U.S. finished the scoring in the 85th minute when substitute striker Christie Welsh ran onto a long pass from defender Kate Sobrero. She out-muscled her defender at the top of the penalty area and then leapt into the air to kick the ball high over the onrushing LeBlanc, looping it into the open net. Welsh entered the game just six minutes before her goal, replacing Mia Hamm, and now has seven goals in her first 10 full national team games.

Only Brandi Chastain, now a defender, had previously accomplished that feat in the history of the national team program.

Canada did have two good chances to score in the second half, but U.S. goalkeeper Siri Mullinix came up with saves both times. The first came off a poor clearance from Mullinix that landed at the feet of Christine Latham, who then tried to beat Mullinix her from long only to see her shot smothered with a dive to the right.

The second came when Canada found itself with a three-on-two break and Christine Sinclair crossed to Latham in the middle of the goal. Latham fell as she tried to shoot, scrambled to her feet and played Isabelle Morneau back at the top of the box, but her 18 yards drive was straight at Mullinix.

United States 4, Canada 0

Lineups: United States -- Siri Mullinix, Brandi Chastain (Christie Pearce 83), Carla Overbeck (Cindy Parlow 68), Kate Sobrero, Joy Fawcett, Kristine Lilly, Lorrie Fair (Nikki Serlenga 46), Julie Foudy, Shannon MacMillan (Sara Whalen 79), Mia Hamm (Christie Welsh 79), Tiffeny Milbrett. Canada - Karina LeBlanc, Isabelle Morneau, Breanna Boyd, Tanya Franck (Silvana Burtini 53), Andrea Neil (Kelly Haxton 74), Sharolta Nonen, Cindy Walsh, Christina Sinclair, Isabelle Harvey, Amy Walsh, Christine Latham.

United States - Foudy (MacMillan) 46.
United States - Parlow (Lilly) 75.
United States - Milbrett (Parlow) 80.
United States - Welsh (Sobrero) 85.

Shots:United States 32, Canada 9. Saves: Unied States 3, Canada 7. Corner kicks: United States 12, Canada 1 Fouls: United States 9, Canada 7. Offside: United States 1, Canada 3. Yellow card cautions: Canada - Franck 44, Latham 88.

Referee: Sandra Hunt (United States). Referee’s assistants: Neil Pinski (United States), Kevin Boisen (United States). Attendance: 7,659 at Civic Stadium in Portland, Ore. Weather: Sunny, warm, 64 degrees.

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