Reserves MacMillan, Venturini lead U.S. past N. Korea 3-0
Posted: Sunday August 08, 1999 01:39 PM
FOXBORO, Mass. (CNN/SI) -- The United States Women's World Cup team demonstrated its depth in a 3-0 win over North Korea, advancing to the quarterfinals.
Reserve players Shannon MacMillan and Tisha Venturini took care of the goalscoring, and usual starters Julie Foudy and Tiffeny Milbrett gave the team a lift off the bench.
"My job is to get ready and take whatever time I get," said MacMillan, who notched one goal of her own and set up goals by Venturini, all in the second half. "Some of us have to step up when we rest some players.
"I think I sealed my statement that I will give my heart and soul to this team."
Facing a busy World Cup schedule, U.S. coach Tony DiCicco took the opportunity to rest some of his players. MacMillan and Venturini, starters in the past for the U.S. team, stayed on the field for the full 90 minutes, while Foudy and Milbrett took the field in the second half with the score tied 0-0. The substitutions sparked the United States to first place in Group A with a 3-0 record.
"We feel we have a strong group who have not been starting," said DiCicco, whose team was set for a matchup with Germany in the single-elimination quarterfinal round. "This was a chance for them to help us out.
"Shannon played a Shannon MacMillan type of game today. A goal like Shannon's will make any coach look like he said the right things."
Despite having the better of possession, the U.S. team appeared less sharp than usual in the first half as a result of DiCicco's move to rest starters Michelle Akers, Kate Sobrero, Foudy and Milbrett in the 89-degree heat.
DiCicco's second-half substitutions -- with Milbrett coming on for Hamm and Foudy for Cindy Parlow -- resulted in three goals within a 20-minute span. Those moves paid off with three goals in 20 minutes.
"I think that Millie creates things. Whatever game she plays in, it's a spark," Foudy said. "We started to go at the defense and then they collapsed and we could go wider on them. We weren't doing that in the first half."
In the 56th minute, MacMillan's dipping shot from just outside the penalty box, off a pass from Foudy, skipped past goalkeeper Kye Yong Sun at the near post. MacMillan's goal and face-first slide in celebration ignited the previously quiet crowd of 50,584 at Foxboro Stadium.
"The ball just moves around when she shoots," U.S. goalkeeper Briana Scurry said of MacMillan, which she faces often in training. "That ball totally dipped before it got to the keeper."
With the U.S. attack ignited, Kristine Lilly then struck the woodwork with a left-footed volley. The Koreans returned the favor, with Jin Pyol Hui hitting Scurry's crossbar from 15 yards.
Lilly came close again seven minutes later after another effective pass from Foudy. The U.S. converted in the 68th minute, after a long run from Milbrett, who passed to MacMillan in the penalty box. Venturini headed home MacMillan's soft pass.
Venturini, who started for the gold medal team at the 1996 Olympics with MacMillan, scored her second goal eight minutes later with a header off MacMillan's free kick, celebrating with a cartwheel.
Venturini was not available for comment post-game because she was randomly chosen by FIFA to be drug-tested.
Pushing forward in search of a comeback, the Koreans were thwarted numerous times by strong stops from Scurry, who picked up here second shutout of the tournament with five saves.
"She's like a rock of granite for us," DiCicco said of Scurry.
The U.S. team and the Koreans (1-2) posed arm-and-arm for a pre-game photo on Fair Play Day.
The Koreans early defensive strategy stymied the Americans before the second-half substitutions moved the U.S. into the next round.The game was the first one for the United States that did not sell out. The strong crowd, however, did help push ticket sales for the Women's World Cup past 560,000 tickets, well beyond pre-tournament predictions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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