O solo Mia
Hamm scores both U.S. goals in 2-0 gold medal win over China
Posted: Tuesday July 28, 1998 02:04 AM
UNIONDALE, New York (AP) -- Mia Hamm continued scoring and the U.S. women's soccer team continued its string of firsts.
With Hamm scoring both goals, the United States beat China 2-0 Monday night to win the gold medal in the debut of soccer at the Goodwill Games.
The U.S. women's soccer team also won the first gold medal at the Olympics and the world championships.
The United States had an 11-2 advantage in shots on goal over China and extended its domestic winning streak to 38 games before a crowd of 11,307 at Mitchel Field. It was the largest crowd so far at a Goodwill Games event.
"It was a tremendous effort," Hamm said. "China is a very athletic club. They play a frantic style."
The Americans, who beat China 2-1 for the gold at the 1996 Olympics, improved to 11-3-4 against the Chinese and remain unbeaten in their last nine meetings.
Hamm's 97th international goal in the 87th minute was an unassisted blast from 35 yards that curled into the back of the net over the head of China goalie Zhao Yan.
Hamm scored her first goal in the 66th minute on an assist from Kristine Lilly. She scored on a breakaway from 14 yards, beating Zhao into the left corner of the net.
"When you play with somebody so long, you know exactly what they want to do with the ball," Lilly said of her teammate of 11 years.
Hamm tied teammate Michelle Akers with 97 career goals and finished with five goals in two games.
"Mia Hamm turned in a Michael Jordan-like performance tonight," U.S. coach Tony DiCicco said. "In fact, I think China took the game over and had more quality chances than we did, but then Mia scored the brilliant goal."
The U.S. team controlled the ball in China's end, outshooting their opponent 12-1 in the first half, but Zhao made lunging saves on the first five shots.
That seemed to frustrate the United States, which then missed easier opportunities. Akers missed a wide open shot from 25 yards over the top of the net in the 24th minute, and Tiffeny Milbrett had two near misses, one wide right and another cross from the left side in the 33rd and 35th minutes. Lilly missed wide right two minutes later.
U.S. goalie Briana Scurry made a one-handed save at the top of the crossbar in the 55th minute on a free kick by Sun Wen. China had a chance to tie in the 78th minute, but Scurry came out of goal to cut off the angle, forcing Zhang Ouying's open shot wide right. Scurry, who had two saves, got her ninth shutout in her last 14 games.
"China had two very good goal opportunities, but we were unable to score," coach Ma Yuanan said. "Mia Hamm is very fast and agile and caused havoc on our defense."
The U.S. team last lost on home soil to defending World Cup champion Norway on Febryary 4, 1996 in Jacksonville, Florida.
In earlier meetings with China this year, the teams tied 0-0 in China, and the United States won 4-1 two months later in Portugal on a hat trick by Hamm on her 26th birthday.
Copyright © 1999 CNN/SI. A Time Warner Company.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.