U.S. takes Australia Cup with 3-1 win over host
Posted: Thursday January 13, 2000 11:41 AM
Despite playing without the stars from the World Cup team, the U.S. soccer team went through the Australia Cup unbeaten. Robert Cianflone/Allsport
ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) -- The U.S. women's soccer team clinched the Australia Cup with a 3-1 win today against defending champion Australia, while Sweden defeated the Czech Republic 2-0 to also finish the four-nation tournament unbeaten.
The Americans held a 2-0 lead at halftime as Sherrill Kester scored in the 13th minute, and they got an own goal in the 34th.
Australia reduced the margin to 2-1 when Matildas captain Alison Forman scored in the 74th minute, but Aly Wagner scored the clincher with 10 minutes left.
The second-string U.S. team remained undefeated in three games, routing the Czechs 8-1 and playing to a 0-0 tie with Sweden.
With the stars of last year's World Cup-winning squad boycotting the tournament due to a pay dispute with U.S. Soccer, the 18-member squad gained valuable international experience, co-coach Lauren Gregg said.
Gregg said none of the players had the overall experience of the veterans, but this was important in the buildup to the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
"The sophistication with which they played was impressive to see, and it bodes very well for the future of American women's soccer," she said.
Co-coach Jay Hoffman said he was particularly impressed with the defensive effort.
"Several players made tremendous individual impacts on the games - [goalkeeper] Leykesia Beene came up big when she needed to, and overall it was a great team win," he said.
In the earlier match, Sweden's Malin Andersson scored in the 38th minute and Hanna Ljunberg added a free-kick goal in the 78th.
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