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Last-minute tally gives China a 1-0 triumph over young Americans.

PANYU, China (Thursday, January 11, 2001) -- Han Duan scored in the 90th minute to lift China to a 1-0 victory over the United States women today before an estimated 10,000 fans at Yingdong Stadium today.

Both sides fielded younger players, perhaps giving a glimpse into the future of the long-time rivalry. With an average age of 22 years, the U.S. team played 11 players who owned 26 caps or less while China also unveiled some new talent, including the goal-scorer, Han, who came on at halftime. China played seven players who faced the U.S. in the first-round of the 2000 Summer Olympics while the Americans had just five who played in the 1-1 tie in Melbourne.

The Americans travel to Hangzhou tomorrow, train on Saturday and then face China again on Sunday at Huang Lung Stadium at 1 a.m. (ET).

With seconds remaining, China managed one last push down the right flank. A loose ball rolled to Han atop the penalty area and she smashed a 22-yard shot just under the crossbar over goalkeeper Jaime Pagliarulo for the 1-0 triumph.

"We were fortunate to win the game," China coach Ma Yaunan said. "We have played the U.S. many times and have lost most of the games, but today we were lucky. We too learn much from the U.S. as their aggression and fighting spirit."

The loss drew attention from a sterling effort by Pagliarulo who made several great saves during her debut for her national team.

The U.S. had trouble penetrating the Chinese back four, managing only one of its four shots before intermission. The hosts managed a 12-4 shots advantage for the game, 7-3 on net.

"The Chinese played magnificent soccer," U.S. coach April Heinrichs said. "They send runners from everywhere and their ability to control the ball is phenomenal. It is wonderful to watch and something that we try to learn from."

Veteran defender Kate Sobrero wore the captainís armband for the first time, joined in the back by Christie Pearce and Thori Staples, who gave way to Keri Raygor at halftime.

The match was played at a furious pace on a rock-hard field made slick by evening dew. The boisterous crowd let loose a deafening roar every time China crossed midfield.

"That was an Olympic type crowd out there in that they made so much noise out there that the players can't hear each other," Heinrichs said. "But that's a great environment for our younger players to step into."

China 1, United States 0

Lineups: China - Han Wenxia, Ye Shimin (Xie Huilin 67), Fan Yunjie (Zhang Ouying 78), Li Jie, Wang Liping, Zhao Lihong, Liu Ying (captain), Pan Lina (Shi Mengyu 83rd), Pu Wei (Xie Caixia 70), Bai Jie, Bai Lili (Han Duan 46). United States - Jaime Pagliarulo, Thori Bryan (Keri Raygor 46), Kate Sobrero (captain), Christie Pearce, Michelle French (Jenny Benson 69), Lorrie Fair, Nikki Serlenga (Aleisha Cramer 64), Mary-Frances Monroe (Jennifer Lalor 46), Jena Kluegel, Meredith Florance (Stephanie Rigamat 75), Tiffeny Milbrett.

Scoring:
China - Han (unassisted) 90.

Shots: China 12, United States 4. Saves: China 3, United States 6. Corner kicks: China 5, United States 1. Fouls: China 4, United States 8. Offside: China 4, United States 7. Yellow card cautions: United States - Milbrett 82.

Referee: Meng Sixia (China). Assistant referees: Fu Hongjue (China), Liu Hongjuan (China). Attendance: 10,000 (estimated) at Yingdong Stadium at Panyu, China. Weather: Cool, misty, 64 degrees.

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