- Wagner's three assists, Milbrett's winner lead U.S. to 3-1 victory over Norway.
- Fan, Sun strike in first half, sending China to 2-0 Four Nations victory over Americans.
Hawkins' first goal beats Germany 1-0, earns Four Nations title.
SHANGHAI, China (Wednesday, January 29, 2003) -- Defensive midfielder Devvyn Hawkins' first international goal gave the United States a 1-0 victory over Germany this afternoon and eventually the title of the Four Nations Tournament before an estimated 5,000 at Hongkou Stadium.
When China could do no better than a 1-1 draw with Norway in the second game of this doubleheader, the U.S. (2-1, 6 points) was crowned champion of this round-robin event. China (1-0-2, 5) finished second with Germany (0-1-2, 2) edging Norway (0-1-2, 2) for third place because of better goal differential.
"This is tremendous achievement for this group of players," U.S. coach April Heinrichs said. "They worked very hard over the last weeks, they've been an incredibly inclusive group. The team chemistry has been marvelously cohesive and they were determined to improve on last year's (third-place) performance and results. These are the four best teams in the world and the reason we won is because of the USA consistency. From game to game, from tournament to tournament, our goal is always to finish first and we pride ourselves on that."
Hawkins, who recently completed her career at Santa Clara University, scored in the 18th minute off a set piece started by her SCU midfield mate Aly Wagner who, 30 yards out on the left flank, played a short pass to striker Tiffeny Milbrett. Milbrett used the outside of her right foot to send a pass to defender Brandi Chastain who was cutting behind the German wall into the left side of the penalty area.
Chastain, a Santa Clara alum married to the Broncos' coach Jerry Smith, hit a hard cross on the ground that a charging Hawkins, making her ninth international appearance, met with her first touch, knocking a shot five yards into the net to make it 1-0.
"We really wanted to be organized and compact in the game today to make sure we had enough pressure on the ball in the midfield and to take some pressure off our backs," said U.S. midfielder Tiffany Roberts who replaced Hawkins in the 68th minute. "We wanted to raise our intensity and I really think we succeeded. We have to keep building on that for the rest of the year."
The Americans outshot Germany 12-8, 7-2 on frame. U.S. goalkeeper Briana Scurry was active in her box, but needed to make only two saves, the second a diving stop to deny Germany striker Birgit Prinz an equalizer in the 89th minute.
Wagner made a big difference in the American midfield after playing just 24 minutes in a 2-0 loss to China three days ago. The expected first pick in Sunday's Women's United Soccer Association draft kept possession well in the crowded middle of the field while also winning balls and making an impact defensively.
Heinrichs gave first starts of the tournament to defender Christie Pearce and 19-year-old midfielder Lindsay Tarpley who was making her third appearance in a U.S. jersey. Heinrichs also started the same back line as in the 2000 Summer Olympics, but with Chastain in the middle and Kate Sobrero on the left, a swap of positions from Australia. Fawcett joined Chastain in the middle with Pearce on the right flank, marking the first time the four had started on the back line together since November 11, 2000, the first match following the Olympics.
The Germans had little success solving the American defense. "It was our most consistent performance defensively in that we allowed very few shots on goal, we smothered every opportunity Germany had and we limited our unforced errors at the back," Heinrichs said.
The U.S. came up empty on two good chances in the first five minutes with keeper Nadine Angerer stopping a close-in Milbrett shot with her knee and saving a vicious volley by striker Cindy Parlow. Germany settled down and played tough defense the rest of the way.
"We really wanted to be organized and compact in the game today to make sure we had enough pressure on the ball in the midfield and to take some pressure off our backs," U.S. midfielder Angela Hucles said. "We wanted to raise our intensity and I really think we succeeded."
United States 1, Germany 0
Lineups: United States Briana Scurry, Christie Pearce, Joy Fawcett (captain), Brandi Chastain, Kate Sobrero, Devvyn Hawkins (Lorrie Fair 60, Tiffeny Roberts 68), Angela Hucles, Lindsay Tarpley, Aly Wagner, Cindy Parlow (Heather O'Reilly 46), Tiffeny Milbrett (Shannon MacMillan 75). Germany - Nadine Angerer, Kerstin Stegemann, Christina Zerbe, Sandra Minnert, Linda Bresonik, Viola Oderbrecht (Navina Omilade 78), Pia Wunderlich, Petra Wimbersky (Katrin Kliehm 62), Kerstin Garefrekes, Birgit Prinz, Martina Muller.
Shots: United State 12, Germany 8. Shots on goal: United States 7, Germany 2. Saves: United States 2, Germany 5. Corner kicks: United States 6, Germany 2. Fouls: United States 10, Germany 7. Offside: United States 1, Germany 5. Yellow card cautions: United States - Hawkins 56, Roberts 93+.
Referee: Bente Skogvang (Norway). Assistant referees: Liu Hongjuan (China), Zhang Dongqing (China). Attendance: 5,000 (estimated) at Hongkou Stadium in Shanghai, China. Weather: Sunny, cold, 45 degrees.