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Chalupny, Kai power Americans past China 2-0, to Four Nations crown.

Solo stops help save 0-0 draw with Germany to open Four Nations Cup.

Wambach finds net twice, U.S. defeatd Mexico 2-0, qualify for Women's World Cup.

Pardoned Lilly scores, Americans edge Canada to take Peace Cup title.

Lilly equalizes for 1-1 draw with Denmark to open Peace Cup.

Wambach scores three, assists three in 10-0 rout of Taiwan.

Peace Cup event is added to WWC preparation.

Wambach, Kai provide winning margin in 2-0 win over Canada.

O'Reilly, Whitehill help post familiar 5-0 triumph over Ireland.

Germany blanks U.S. 2-0 in U-21 Nordic final.

Reserve Kai nets winner in 1-0 decision over Japan.

Wambach's three strikes lead 3-1 comeback victory over Japan.

Visit to Japan is scheduled, qualifying road is set.

U.S. women

Lloyd goal is winner in 2-1 Algarve opening win over China.

SILVES, Portugal (Wednesday, March 7, 2007) -- Midfielder Carli Lloyd's goal late in the first half turned out to be the game-winner, sending the United States women to a 2-1 decision over China to open the Algarve Cup Group B before 500 at Estadio Municipal this afternoon.

Striker Kristine Lilly's penalty kick gave the U.S. a lead midway through the first half, an advantage that lasted two minutes.

Sweden downed Finland 3-0 in the other Group B match. On Friday, the U.S. faces Finland at Estadio da Nora in Ferreiras at 11:15 a.m. (ET).

"It's always a difficult first game in this tournament," said U.S. coach Greg Ryan, now 28-0-7 (.900) since taking over for April Heinrichs at the 2005 Algrave Cup. "I'm just happy that this game gives us a chance to start getting our form back and hopefully by the third or fourth game, we're on form."

Neither the U.S. or China could mount a sustained attack with the Americans managing five shots on goal to two for its opponent. The Americans held a commanding 15-4 edge in overall shots.

"I think everything was organized (in the back)," U.S. defender Christie Ramponse said. "We were communicating really well. These last couple days of practice, having double days, we felt really secure back there. Cat (Whitehill) and Tina (Ellertson) did an awesome job. We had (China under control). We just had to stay focused and get the job done."

After coming up empty on several earlier chances, Lloyd connected on her second career goal for a 2-1 lead in the 38th minute.

Striker Abby Wambach started the decisive sequence with a right-side cross that sailed through the penalty area into the left corner. U.S. defender Stephanie Lopez ran the ball down, beat a defender and then toe-poked a pass back to Lloyd. The attacking midfielder side-stepped a defender to the inside and cracked a right footed shot from just left of the penalty arc, finding the top left corner of the net from 25 yards.

"We've been working a lot on shooting, the midfielders shooting outside the box," said Lloyd, who has 25 international appearances. "I've been focusing, concentrating and working on it. It's a reward after practicing it for so long. I took a touch to the inside and beat the girl and ripped it."

Two minutes later, Lloyd was denied a second tally when China goalkeeper Zhang Yanru made a diving save to her right to palm away a bouncing shot.

"Besides the goal, she had a great game today," Ryan said of Lloyd. "She was very confident on the ball, kept us in possession, sprayed the ball around well and at the end of the day, she gets the winning goal."

The Americans jumped ahead in the 19th minute. Defender Catherine Whitehill's long free kick was cleared by China over the left sideline. Whitehill took the throw-in and found Wambach at the edge of the six-yard box, her back to goal. Chinese defender Li Jie knocked Wambach over, leading Hungarian referee Gyongyi Gaal to call a penalty kick. Li had also fouled Wambach for a penalty kick in the Four Nations Cup in January 2006, an event the U.S. won on Chinese soil.

Lilly, who was playing in her world record 320th international match, nailed the PK into the right corner for her 118th goal and a 1-0 margin.

"I felt we had some great combinations when the ball was on the ground and we found the angles," Lilly said. "But once it got in the air and was bouncing around, it took a lot more effort for us to get the game going, so that was difficult. But otherwise, I think the effort was great from the team."

China needed two minutes to pull even. On a set piece China forward Liu Sa bent the cross from the left flank into the U.S. box. Striker Han Duan re-directed the ball with a glancing header seven yards into the lower right corner of the net for a 1-1 tie.

It was just China's second goal against the U.S. in the last six meetings between the nations. The Chinese's only other attempt on frame was a bouncing effort from 25 yards and was easily handled by goalkeeper Hope Solo.

Whitehill made two big defensive plays in the waning minutes, clearing a dangerous free kick with her head and stopping a counter-attack with a tackle.

In the Group A matches, Norway upset Germany, the world's top-ranked team, 2-1, while Denmark drubbed France 4-0. In Group C, Portugal tied Ireland, 1-1 and Italy defeated Iceland, 1-0.

Note: The U.S. is now 28-9-7 (.720) all-time in the Algarve Cup, winning four titles (2001, 2003-05) in 11 previous appearances.


United States 2, China 1

Lineups: United States - Hope Solo, Catherine Whitehill, Tina Ellertson, Christie Rampone, Stephanie Lopez, Leslie Osborne, Carli Lloyd, Lori Chalupny, Heather O'Reilly (Lindsay Tarpley 80), Abby Wambach, Kristine Lilly (captain). China - Zhang Yanru, Li Jie (Wang Kun 86), Weng Xingzhi, Pu Wei (captain), Liu Yali, Bi Yan (Zhang Tong 70), Zhang Na, Qu Feifei (Zhang Ying 70), Li Dongna, Han Duan, Liu Sa (Lou Xiaoxu 80).

Scoring:
United States - Lilly (penalty kick) 19.
China - Han (Liu S.) 21.
United States - Lloyd (Lopez) 38.

Shots: United States 15, China 4. Shots on goal: United States 5, China 2 Saves: United States 2, China 3. Corner kicks: United States 6, China 2. Fouls: United States 14, China 20. Offside: United States 2, China 1. Yellow card cautions: United States - Wambach 84; China - Liu Y. 84.

Referee: Gyongyi Gaal (Hungary). Assistant referees: Emilia Parvainen (Finland), Karine Vives Solana (France). Fourth official: Natalia Advonchenko (Russia). Attendance: 500 at Estadio Municipal in Silves, Portugal. Weather: Sunny, windy, 75 degrees.


14th Annual Algarve Cup in Portugal

Group A - Germany, Norway, France, Denmark
Group B - United States, China, Finland, Sweden
Group C - Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Iceland

March 7

Group A
Norway 2, Germany 1
Denmark 4, France 0

Group B
United States 2, China 1
Sweden 3, Finland 0

Group C
Italy 1, Iceland 0
Portugal 1, Ireland 1

March 9

Group A
Norway vs. Denmark
France vs. Germany

Group B
United States vs. Finland
Sweden vs. China

Group C
Ireland vs. Iceland
Portugal vs. Italy

March 12

Group A
Denmark vs. Germany
Norway vs. France

Group B
United States vs. Sweden
Finland vs. China

Group C
Italy vs. Ireland
Portugal vs. Iceland

March 14
Championship (Group A winner vs. Group B winner)
Third place (Group A second place vs. Group B second place)
Fifth place (Group A third place vs. Group B third place)
Seventh place (Group C winner vs. Group A or B fourth place)
Ninth place (Group C second place vs. Group A or B fourth place)
Eleventh place (Group C third place vs. Group C fourth place)


U.S. roster for Algarve Cup:

Goalkeepers (2): Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.).

Defenders (7): Lori Chalupny (St. Louis), Tina Ellertson (nee Frimpong, Vancouver, Wash.), Stephanie Lopez (Elk Grove, Calif.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), India Trotter (Plantation, Fla.), Catherine Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.).

Midfielders (6): Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Marci Jobson (nee Miller, St. Charles, Ill.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wisc.), Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.).

Forwards (5): Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawai'i), Kristine Lilly (Wilton, Conn.), Heather O'Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).

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