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Scoreless draw with Germany ends American title hopes in Four Nations Tournament.

PANYU, China (Friday, January 25, 2002) -- Two games into the Four Nations Tournament, the United States women have yet to score a goal. So despite holding a large territorial advantage in both matches in this event, the Americans have been eliminated from title contention.

Today’s 0-0 draw with Germany before an estimated 1,500 at Yingdong Stadium today left both teams at 0-1-1. Norway (2-0) virtually clinched the event’s championship with a 3-0 romp over China (1-1).

China has a minus-2 goal differential to Norway’s plus-4. China’s only hope of capturing the crown of its own robin tournament would be to defeat the U.S. Sunday in Tianhe, have Germany beat Norway and have the winning margins be large enough to make up the goal differential.

Despite oushooting Germany 9-3, the U.S. could not solve the rigid German defense 9-3 or goalkeeper Silke Rottenberg who made six saves.

"The USA looks at a tie as a loss and the players are as disappointed as they were two days ago (with a 1-0 loss to Norway)," said U.S. coach April Heinrichs. "We don't sit back and wait for ties, we always go forward to win. The Germans played with grit, they played hard and they played smart, and I commend their defense. But the fact is that they played almost the entire game in their own half and were under pressure the whole time."

Even with the U.S. advantage in possession, the match lacked an abundance of clear scoring opportunities for either side

"Scoring goals is the most difficult part of the game," Heinrichs said. "You must have players who have great focus and great commitment to do it. You can't take two months off and expect that scoring touch to be there. It's something that has to be worked on and from that work and repetition, scoring confidence will come."

Perhaps the best American chance came in the 62nd minute when striker Shannon MacMillan slipped a pass to unmarked midfielder Kristine Lilly. Inside the penalty area, Lilly turned and drove a shot from eight yards that was saved by Rottenberg.

The U.S. nearly gave away the game in the 68th minute when a combination of defensive miscues in the defensive third gave Germany a great chance, but sliding Danielle Slaton blocked Christa Schapertons' point-blank shot away for a corner kick.

"We played some good soccer and if soccer was voted on like gymnastics or figure skating, we'd probably be voted the winner of both games," Heinrichs said. "But soccer is not just an artistic game, it's about results and you have to come to win."

Solveig Gulbrandsen scored two goals in the first 16 minutes of the match and Anita Rapp added a goal two minutes into the second half to pace Norway in its rout of China.

United States 0, Germany 0

Lineups: LaKeysia Beene, Kate Sobrero (Cat Reddick 46), Joy Fawcett, Danielle Slaton, Brandi Chastain (Jena Kluegel 46), Kristine Lilly, Aleisha Cramer (Lorrie Fair 46), Julie Foudy (captain), Shannon MacMillan (Aly Wagner 67), Cindy Parlow, Tiffeny Milbrett. Germany Silke Rottenberg, Kerstin Stegemann, Stefanie Gottschlich, Nia Kunzer, Ariane Hingst, Navina Omilade, Renate Lingor, Kerstin Garefrekes (Martina Muller 46), Sandra Smisek (Jennifer Meier 65), Bettina Wiegmann - captain (Christa Schapertons 62), Birgit Prinz.

Scoring: none

Shots: United States 9, Germany 3. Shots on goal: United States 6, Germany 3 Saves: United States 2, Germany 6. Corner kicks: United States 3, Germany 3. Fouls: United States 10, Germany 12. Offside: United States 3, Germany 2.

Yellow card cautions: United States - Lilly 43, Parlow 80.

Referee: Vibeke Karlsen (Norway) Assistant referees: Zuo Xiudi (China), Liu Hong Juan (China) Attendance: 1,500 at Yingdong Stadium in Panyu, China. Weather: Chilly, overcast, 56 degrees.

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