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U.S. defeats Japan

Three tied for first place at Pacific Cup

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Posted: Thursday June 08, 2000 01:01 PM


NEWCASTLE, Australia (AP) -- Canada surprised China and the United States beat Japan, leaving three teams tied for first place in the Pacific Cup women's soccer tournament Thursday.

Canada beat leaders China, winning 5-3 on penalties after an exciting 2-2 draw to join the Chinese on top of the ladder. In the day's second game, world champions the United States scored a convincing 4-1 victory over Japan to also reach nine points.

The first Canadian goal came in the second minute when striker Christine Sinclair got in behind the Chinese defense and rolled the ball home. Sinclair extended Canada's lead in the 19th minute when she received a pass in the penalty area, rounded the keeper and tapped home.

Chinese striker Wen Sun had a goal from an indirect free kick disallowed, but she made amends in the 67th minute, reducing the deficit with a shot from 10 meters. Bai Jie equalized for China with 11 minutes remaining when her left foot shot from the edge of the penalty area found the back of the net.

After 15 minutes of extra time play was halted when a power failure in the local area put out the floodlights.

There was no further scoring when the game resumed and in the penalty shoot-out China's first penalty taker Zhang Ouying had her shot saved. Canada's first four penalty takers all converted theirs as the rest of the Chinese followed suit.

The decider came in controversial circumstances when Canada's fifth penalty taker Isabelle Harvey had her shot saved, but the referee ruled that the Chinese keeper had moved before the kick was taken and ordered it retaken.

Harvey made no mistake with her second shot.

A perfectly executed free-kick gave the United States the lead over Japan in the 16th minute when striker Cindy Parlow knocked the ball in from close range.

Japan's Yumi Obe shocked the Americans in the 22nd minute with a drive from 40 meters out which flew past the American keeper.

The United States exerted its authority in the second half, Shannon MacMillan poking the ball home from eight meters out to restore its lead in the 56th minute.

And then World Cup hero Brandi Chastain extended it to 3-1 in the 62nd minute with a curling free-kick from 20 meters. American substitute Aly Wagner tapped home from close range to make it 4-1 in the 88th minute.

The final games of the tournament will be played on the weekend, with Canada playing Japan and China taking on winless New Zealand on Saturday and the United States playing host Australia on Sunday.

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