The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on September 22, 2003 · Page 43
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · Page 43

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Monday, September 22, 2003
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SP_D_14_D14_LA_1_09-22-03_mo_1_CMYK 2003:09:21:22:58:02 D14 MONDAY,SEPTEMBER22,2003 SOCCER LOSANGELESTIMES Women’s World Cup GROUP A TeamWLTGFGAPts North Korea100303 United States100313 Sweden010130 Nigeria010030 Saturday North Korea 3, Nigeria 0 Sunday U.S. 3, Sweden 1 Thursday at Philadelphia North Korea vs. Sweden, 1:45 p.m. Nigeria vs. U.S., 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Columbus, Ohio Nigeria vs. Sweden, 10 a.m. North Korea vs. U.S., 12:45 p.m. GROUP B TeamWLTGFGAPts Brazil100303 Norway100203 South Korea010030 France010020 Saturday Norway 2, France 0 Sunday Brazil 3, South Korea 0 Wednesday, at Washington Brazil vs. Norway, 2 p.m. France vs. South Korea, 4:45 p.m. Saturday at Foxboro, Mass. Norway vs. South Korea, 9:45 a.m. Saturday at Washington Brazil vs. France, 9:45 a.m. GROUP C TeamWLTGFGAPts Japan100603 Germany100413 Canada010140 Argentina010060 Saturday Germany 4, Canada 1 Japan 6, Argentina 0 Wednesday at Columbus Germany vs. Japan, 2:45 p.m. Argentina vs. Canada, 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Foxboro Canada vs. Japan, 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Washington Argentina vs. Germany, 12:30 p.m. GROUP D TeamWLTGFGAPts Russia100213 China100103 Ghana010010 Australia010120 Sunday Russia 2, Australia 1. China 1, Ghana 0 Thursday at Carson Ghana vs. Russia, 4:15 p.m. Australia vs. China, 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28 at Portland, Ore Australia vs. Ghana, 5:15 p.m. China vs. Russia, 8 p.m. Quarterfinals Wednesday, Oct. 1 At Foxboro, Mass. Group B first place vs. Group A second place, 1:30 p.m. Group A first place vs. Group B second place, 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2 At Portland, Ore. Group C first place. vs. Group D second place, 4:30 p.m. Group D first place vs. Group C second place, 7:30 p.m. STANDINGS SUMMARIES At Washington UNITED STATES 3, SWEDEN 1 Sweden.........................................................01—1 United States.................................................21—3 First half—1, U.S., Lilly 1, 28th minute. 2, U.S., Parlow 1, 36th. Second half—3, Sweden, Svensson 1, 58th. 4, U.S., Boxx 1, 78th. Yellow Cards—Sweden, Sjoestroem, 90th. United States, Scurry 13th, Wagner 72nd. Referee—Zhang Dongqing, China. Linesmen—Liu Hsiu Mei, Taiwan; Hisae Yoshizawa, Japan. A—34,144. Lineups SWEDEN—Caroline Joensson; Karolina Westberg, Jane Toernqvist, Hanna Marklund, Sara Larsson; Malin Mos- troem, Malin Andersson (Anna Sjoestroem, 77th), Linda Fagerstroem, Therese Sjoegran (Frida Oestberg, 46th); Hanna Ljungberg (Josefine Oeqvist, 83rd), Victoria Svensson. UNITED STATES—Briana Scurry; Christie Pearce, Brandi Chastain (Cat Reddick, 46th), Joy Fawcett, Kate Sobrero; Shannon Boxx, Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly; Mia Hamm; Cindy Parlow (Aly Wagner, 70th), Abby Wambach (Tiffeny Mil- brett, 56th). BRAZIL 3, SOUTH KOREA 0 Brazil............................................................12—3 South Korea...................................................00—0 First half—1, Brazil, Marta 1 (penalty kick), 14th minute. Second half—2, Brazil, Katia 1, 55th. 3, Brazil, Katia 2, 62nd. Yellow Cards—Brazil, Formiga 2nd. South Korea, Kim Yoo-mi 22nd, Jin 71st. Referee—Tammy Ogston, Australia. Linesmen—Irina Mirt, Romania; Katarzyna Nadolska, Poland. A—34,144. Lineups BRAZIL—Andrea; Juliana, Tania; Simone, Renata Costa, Formiga (Prescila 89th), Daniela; Marta, Rosana, Maicon (Cristiane, 78th), Katia. SOUTH KOREA—Kim Jung-mi; Kim Yu-kin, Kim Yoo-mi (Jin Suk-hee, 46th), Yoo Young-sil; Song Ju-hee, Kim Jin- hee (Sung Hyun-ah, 49th), Han Jin-sook, Kim Kyul-sil (Hwan In-sun, 65th), Shin Sun-nam; Park Eun-sun, Lee Ji- eun. At Home Depot Center RUSSIA 2, AUSTRALIA 1 Australia........................................................10—1 Russia...........................................................11—2 First half—1, Australia, Golebiowski 1, 37th minute. 2, Russia, Alagich (own goal), 39th. Second half—3, Russia, Fomina 1, 89th. Yellow Cards—Russia, Fomina 83rd, Letyushova 87th. Red Cards—None. Referee—Bola Abidoye, Nigeria. Linesmen—Perpetue Desiree Krebe, Ivory Coast, Florence Biagui, Senegal. A—NA. Lineups AUSTRALIA—Cassandra Kell, Sacha Wainwright (Bryony Duus, 45th), Dianne Alagich, Cheryl Salisbury, Rhian Davies, Gillian Foster, Joanne Peters, Heather Garriock, Tal Karp, Kelly Golebiowski, Danielle Small. RUSSIA—Alla Volkova, Tatiana Zaytseva, Marina Burako- va, Marina Saenko, Anastassia Pustovoitova (Vera Strouko- va, 67th), Galina Komarova, Tatiana Egorova (Tatiana Skot- nikova, 68th), Elena Fomina, Oxana Shmachkova, Natalia Barbachina, Olga Letyushova. CHINA 1, GHANA 0 China..........................................................10 — 1 Ghana.........................................................00 — 0 First half—1, China, Sun 1, 29th minute. Second half—None. Yellow Cards—Mavis Dgajmah, Ghana, 90th minute. Red Cards—None. Referee—Sonia Denoncourt, Canada. Linesmen—Denise Robinson, Canada; Lynda Bramble, Trinidad & Tobago. A—10,027. Lineups CHINA—Zhao Yan; Li Jie; Fan Yunjie; Wang Liping; Zhao Lihong (Ren Liping, 88th); Liu Ying; Pu Wei; Pan Lina; Bai Jie; Sun Wen; Han Duan (Liu Yali, 59th). GHANA—Memunatu Sulemana; Mavis Danso; Patience Sackey; Yaa Avoe (Belinda Kanda, 58th); Elizabeth Baidu; Lydia Ankrah; Florence Okoe; Genevieve Clottey; Adjoa Bayor; Alberta Sackey (Myralyn Osei-Agyemang, 83rd); Mavis Dgajmah (Akua Anokyewaa, 90th+). C reating a beach on the tennis courts at the Home Depot Center for the volleyball tournament that ended Sunday afternoon was easy. It’s been done before, including in a parking lot in Las Vegas. Attracting a crowd to a women’s soccer doubleheader that doesn’t include Mia Hamm or Brandi Chastain, that’s hard. Organizers of the first-round games Sunday night at Carson in the Women’s World Cup were disappointed with the peak attendance of 10,027, which was the smallest of any venue in the tournament’s first weekend. But, considering the opening-night draw here of Australia versus Russia and China versus Ghana, well, who could have expected more? Applauding California’s diversity, Gov. Gray Davis said last week, “...[W]e have people from every planet on the Earth in this state. We have the sons and daughters of every — of people from every planet — of every country on Earth.” But we really don’t have that many people here from the planet of Ghana, and although we have more people here from the planets of Australia, China and Russia, they don’t necessarily follow the women’s soccer team from the old country. Many of the fans who did come to the games at Home Depot Center bought their tickets so that they could eventually see the U.S. team, which played earlier Sunday on the other side of the country in Washington. According to organizers, about 12,000 people bought ticket packages for all six games in Carson in order to be guaranteed seats for the Oct. 12 final at the Home Depot Center. They are anticipating that the United States will be playing for the championship. No doubt their confidence was bolstered by the Americans’ 3-1 victory at RFK Stadium over a good Swedish team, despite an injury to Chastain that will prevent her from playing in at least the next two games. Ilike the NFL, but I doubt anyone who watched a football game on television Sunday morning instead of the soccer match can name any player who displayed more artistry than U.S. forward Hamm. Or more toughness than Swedish forward Hanna Ljungberg, who took a licking but kept on kicking. Hamm, 31, reconfirmed her status as the Pele of women’s soccer. She didn’t score, but she looked as sharp as ever, assisting on all three goals, the first one when she one-timed a pass through the legs of a Swedish defender and onto the foot of Kristine Lilly. Hamm and Lilly are two of the four U.S. players — Julie Foudy and Joy Fawcett are the others — who played in the first women’s world championship in 1991, starting to claim their niche in the nation’s consciousness with an opening-game victory over, coincidentally, Sweden. They peaked with their victory over China in the final of the 1999 World Cup in front of 90,125 at the Rose Bowl. Even if they repeat, they won’t attract that kind of crowd, not even for the championship game. That is certain because the Home Depot Center holds only 27,500. The stadium was a conservative choice for the final by organizers because they feared they couldn’t come close to filling the Rose Bowl again, especially if the Americans weren’t in the game. That had less to do with the team’s popularity than with the timing of the tournament. With this one coming in the fall instead of midsummer, the U.S. women have to share the sports landscape with football and the most dramatic weeks of the baseball season. They drew 34,144 Sunday in Washington, which is respectable on a day when the Redskins were playing but not phenomenal. Yet, they remain a phenom- enon, femaleathletes who are more acclaimed and better known in the United States than the men in the sport. Ithink it was Don Shula who once shrugged off a loss by saying, “One billion people in China don’t care.” That’s the difference in pro football and women’s soccer. In women’s soccer, 1 billion people in China do care. Agood many of them no doubt would have attended the 2003 Women’s World Cup scheduled for China, hoping to see their team avenge the loss to the United States four years ago, but the tournament was moved because of the SARS outbreak. Asmall but exuberant group of Chinese fans in Carson tried to make the team feel at home. They also provided a World Cup atmosphere forthe second game after a more subdued opener, won by Russia, 2-1, over Australia in front of a mere 8,500. They were thrilled by Sun Wen, who is the Mia Hamm of China. Like Hamm, Sun, 30, has announced that this is her last World Cup. She tied for the lead in the last one in scoring and was named most valuable player. She, also like Hamm, has critics who say she since has lost astep, but Sun was imposing, scoring in the 29th minute. That, however, was the only goal the Chinese scored in a 1-0 victory over Ghana, a team they beat, 7-0, in 1999. Ghana undoubtedly has improved, but it also appears China is not as formidable as it was four years ago. The Chinese like to say that a journey of 10,000 miles begins with one step, but youhaveto believe they were looking for a bigger first step here. Randy Harvey can be reached at randy.harvey@la- times.com. R ANDY H ARVEY Far-Flung Foes Fail to Draw Big Crowds Anacleto Rapping Los Angeles Times ROUGH GOING: Abby Wambach, right, of the U.S. outjumps Hanna Marklund of Sweden for the ball in Sunday’s match. acome-from-behind, 2-1 victory over Australia in front of 8,500 on Sunday in a Group D women’s World Cup match. It was a match that many saw as a contest for group runner-up —behind China — and the quarterfinal berth that comes with it. “The three teams of the group —Russia, Australia, Ghana — Home Depot Center workers mistakenly had Russia’s flag upside down when they first hoisted it up the pole on the stadium’s north side hill, an international faux pas that was corrected before kickoff. But Russian midfielder Elena Fomina earned her country and team some respect with her 89th-minute goal, giving Russia are equal,” Russia Coach Yury Bystritsky said through a translator. “Today was difficult and decisive, so we felt this game was for second place.” Australia, which has yet to win a World Cup match and fell to 0-6-1 in the quadrennial tournament, forced the action early and scored in the 38th minute when Kelly Golebiowski con- verted Danielle Small’s ricochet off the right post, beating Russia goalkeeper Alla Volkova. Russia tied it one minute later on Australia defender Dianne Alagich’s own-goal with her futile attempt to redirect a shot. Fominascored the game-winner on a powerful one-timer from the top of the arc. —Paul Gutierrez Russia Wins With Goal in Waning Minutes GROUP D By Grahame L. Jones Times Staff Writer WASHINGTON — Having survived Isabel, the nation’s capital Sunday was treated to Katia. And also to Daniela, Maycon, Rosana, Marta, Formiga and the rest of the one-named but multitalented players on Brazil’s team in the fourth FIFA Women’s World Cup. Call them the hurricane force, because together they tore South Korea apart, opening their world championship campaign with an emphatic 3-0 victory in front of what remained of an initial crowd of 34,144 at RFK Stadium. The Brazilians started slowly but grew in confidence as the game went on and by the end were clearly the dominant team. Katia scored twice, both of her goals coming in the second half, while Marta started the Koreans’ downfall when she scored on a penalty kick in the 14th minute. The youngest team in the tournament with an average age of just over 22, Brazil might have scored six or seven goals had it not been for the players’ desire for individual glory. Time and again Brazil’s forwards broke through the porous Korean defense, and time and again the player with the ball opted to shoot rather than pass to a more favorably positioned or unmarked teammate. South Korea played gamely, its players never giving up, but the South Americans were more technically skilled and quicker to the ball. As a result, they were able to keep possession and dictate the flow of the game. It was a bright and positive display by the team that finished third at the 1999 tournament, but Coach Paulo Goncalves downplayed the performance. “This was the first game and everybody was nervous,” he said. “Fortunately, we got a good win, [but] we made a lot of mistakes out there that we want to correct.” Despite the one-sided game, Milene Domingues, better known as the wife of Real Madrid striker and Brazil 1994 and 2002 World Cup winner Ronaldo, was not used as a substitute. South Korea Coach An Jong Goan blamed his midfielders for giving the Brazilians too much space and said his team would perform better in its next game against France. Brazil plays Norway next. GROUP B Brazil Blanks South Korea By Lisa Dillman Times Staff Writer Her upper body giveth and her upper body taketh. On both occasions, it couldn’t have worked out better for China and its incomparable striker Sun Wen in the second game of the Group D doubleheader of the Women’s World Cup on Sunday night at Carson. Aspirited crowd of 10,027 at the Home Depot Center watched Sun’s header at the far post in the 29th minute stand up as she put away a cross from Bai Jie, giving China a 1-0 victory against Ghana. Bai made it happen, going around Patience Sackey with a quick move deep in the left corner and lofting the ball toward the right post. Sun certainly knows how to take advantage of such service and did it again, a now-familiar sight in the World Cup. The 30-year-old Sun, playing in her fourth World Cup, needs one goal to tie and two to pass American Michelle Akers’ World Cup career-record of 12. Her other notable contact with the soccer ball was on the far end of the pleasure-pain spectrum. In the 58th minute, Sun was blasted in the upper bodyby a free kick, taking the stinging hit, and more importantly, taking away a rare scoring opportunity. It looked wincingly painful. And it clearly was, as she needed afew seconds to shake it off before moving back to her attacking position. You might say one team’s routine, first-round victory — China has never dropped its opening game in the World Cup —is another’s moral breakthrough. Consideringthat four years agoGhana lost to China, 7-0, its improvement can be measured in these sizable increments. “I’ve explained many times that the current team is not the same as four years ago,” Coach Ma Liangxing said, of the comparison to the 1999 World Cup runner-up. “At least we won the game, so it was a very good start.” But the margin of victory could have been closer to the team’s previous World Cup meetingif not for the solid goal- keeping of Memunatu Sulema- na. Perhaps her toughest save was on Bai in the 60th minute. Sun Has a Solid Body of Work Striker takes painful shot to the chest but leads China over Ghana, 1-0, in Group D game. Associated Press GOT IT: Bai Jieof China, right, and Alberta Sackey of Ghana battle for the ball in the first half.

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