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

Lehn’s goal in fifth minute is enough for Norway to notch 1-0 victory in round robin.

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MacMillan, Milbrett score early for U.S. which defeats China 2-0, finishes third in Four Nations Tournament.

TIANHE, China (Sunday, January 27, 2002) -- After being shut out in the first two matches of the Four Nations Tournament, the United States wasted no time getting on the board today. One-time University of Portland teammates Shannon MacMillan and Tiffeny Milbrett each found net in the first nine minutes and the United States coasted to a 2-0 triumph over China to complete its participation in the Four Nations Tournament at Tianhe Stadium today.

To start the day, Germany (1-1-1, 4 points) romped over Norway 3-1, opening the door for China to win its own tournament by beating the U.S. by four or more goals. However, when the Americans won, it was Norway (2-1, 6 points) that took the title with Germany taking second place on tiebreakers over the U.S (1-1-1, 4 points) and China (1-2, 3 points) taking up the rear. The U.S. and Germany both had a plus-1 goal differential, but Germany was awarded second having scored four goals to the Americans’ two.

"I have to say that we are a bit disappointed in the 2-0 victory as our goal was to win 3-0 and take second place," U.S. coach April Heinrichs said. "But I am very pleased with the energy and enthusiasm with which the entire team went after that third goal. We gave up a goal early in the first game which ended up costing us the tournament and that should be a cruel lesson of how small the margin of winning and losing is in this game."

The U.S. had never been shut out for three consecutive matches and MacMillan erased that possibility quickly today, putting the U.S. ahead 1-0 with a scorching volley in the third minute. The sequence originated on the left sideline when striker Cindy Parlow put her head on a long thrown-in from defender Danielle Slaton and flicked the ball over the Chinese defense. The ball bounced perfectly for MacMillan and the forward buried her shot in the left corner from 16 yards despite the leap of goalkeeper Geng Xiaoxia.

"We knew that our finishing was flat and we hadn't taken our chances in the first two games, so today we wanted to come out hard take the game to China," said MacMillan, who now has 39th international goals.

Slaton and Parlow also set up the second tally. From the left flank, Slaton threaded a pass into the penalty area to Parlow where she held her defender off as she was pulled to the ground. From the turf, Parlow poked the ball to Milbrett who collected and used her left foot to nail an eight-yarder into the right corner for her 86th career goal and a 2-0 advantage in the ninth minute.

The Americans conceded just one goal in the tournament, the fewest of the four teams, and that came just five minutes into the first match, a 1-0 setback to Norway. Had the U.S. not allowed that goal and tied 0-0 -- and all other things been equal -- it would have won the tournament.

Neither team managed that many dangerous chances today with the U.S., having scored on its first two shots, outshooting China 11-7, 7-3 on frame.

"The USA has some growing to do," Heinrichs said. "We are trying to blend some younger players with the experienced ones and that takes time, but I like the way the team progressed and grew together in this tournament and played better in each successive game."

American LeKeysia Beene was named the best goalkeeper in the event for her shot-stopping and aggressive play.

In the first game, Germany received goals Kerstin Garafrekes, Birgit Prinz and Bettina Wiegmann while Norway’s tally came on a 35-year bomb from Solveig Gulgbrandsen.

The U.S. team will disband until late February when it will travel to Portugal for the Algarve Cup. The opponents will be Sweden (March 1), England (March 3) and Norway (March 5).

United States 2, China 0

Lineups: United States - LaKeysia Beene, Kate Sobrero (Thori Bryan 46), Cat Reddick, Joy Fawcett, Danielle Slaton, Kristine Lilly (Kylie Bivens 73), Lorrie Fair, Julie Foudy (captain), Shannon MacMillan (Aly Wagner 46), Cindy Parlow (Brandi Chastain 65), Tiffeny Milbrett. China - Geng Xiaoyan, Fan Yunjie, Bai Jie (Liu Yali 90), Lie Jie, Zhou Xiaoxia (Wang Liping 22), Pu Wei, Qu Feifei, Pan Lina (Ren Liping 14), Zhao Lihong, Zhang Ouying (Chi Yi 46), Bai Lili.

United States - MacMillan (Parlow) 3.
United States - Milbrett (Parlow) 9.

Shots: United States 11, China 7. Shots on goal: United States 7, China 3. Saves: United States 3, China 5. Corner kick: United States 2, China 5 Fouls: United States 10, China 15. Offside: United States 2, China 2.

Yellow card cautions: United States - Milbrett 20, Bryan 89; China Fan 45, Zhao 83.

Referee: Christine Frai (Germany). Assistant referees: Vibeke Karlsen (Norway), Liu Hongjuan (China). Attendance: 5,000 (estimated) at Tianhe Stadium in Tianhe, China. Weather: Cold, rainy, 40 degrees.

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