The Baltimore Sun from Baltimore, Maryland on September 28, 2003 · Page E3
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The Baltimore Sun from Baltimore, Maryland · Page E3

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The Sun : Sunday, Sept. 28, 2003: Page 3e Soccer Brazil wins group despite lapse for 1-1 tie Pichon scores for France near end of injury time By Sandra McKee SUN STAFF WASHINGTON Brazilian forward Katia emerged from the locker room yesterday afternoon with mixed emotions. Her team had tied France, 1-1, and she had scored Brazil's goal as it advanced to the quarterfinals of the Women's World Cup. She should have been nothing but happy. But Katia, who scored in the 58th minute, was not completely happy, and neither were her teammates. With 10 seconds left in injury time at the end of regulation, France's Marinette Pichon was left uncovered in the penalty box on a set play and scored the game-tying goal for France. "My gosh," Katia said. "We know France every team is going to work so hard. We thought we had the game won. We know Pichon is dangerous and we left her alone in the box. "It's kind of a young mistake and we'll talk about it back at the hotel because we cannot let this same thing happen again." Brazil (2-0-1) and Norway (2-1), which beat South Korea, v HTlKfBHK REUTERS France's Elodie Woock (left) knocks Brazil's Priscila off the ball during 1-1 tie that sent the Brazilians to the quarterfinals. 7-1, yesterday, earned the right to advance from Group B to the quarterfinals. From this point on, the World Cup is a single-elimination tournament. In the quarterfinals, Brazil, the winner of its group, will face the second-place finisher in Group A. The Group A standings will be decided in Columbus, Ohio, today when Sweden faces Nigeria and the United States meets North Korea. The United States is expected to finish first in Group A, which would please Brazil coach Paulo Goncalves. "Yes, I would be relieved to avoid the U.S.," Goncalves said through an interpreter. "The U.S. is incredible. They have the home-field crowd everywhere. They are very well-organized and have a lot of structure." Brazil was something of a North Koreans put political spins on ball More than sport on line for team vs. U.S. today By Philip Hersh CHICAGO TRIBUNE PHILADELPHIA "Korea is One" read a headband worn by a fan at Thursday night's Women's World Cup match between North Korea and Sweden at Lincoln Financial Field. Other fans held maps showing the Korean peninsula as a single country. In a climate in which the latest hopes for Korean reunification are tempered by North Korea's nuclear weapons program, officials of the isolated country are generally trying to play down the political significance of their second women's soccer match with the United States. It still is hard to avoid the feeling that today's match in Columbus, Ohio, where a sellout crowd awaits, means more to the North Koreans as a chance to humble the U.S. team than as a chance to reach the World Cup quarterfinals. The U.S. team beat North Korea, 3-0, in the 1999 World Cup, and that was at a time when relations between the two countries had been improving. But that was before President Bush included North Korea in his post-911 "axis of evil" after the Sept. 11 attacks, and North Ko rea revealed its nuclear weapons program had been ongoing. "They won't be able to just go and play," Peter Velappan, secretary general of the Asian Soccer Confederation, has said. "The politics of the situation are quite different now than they were in 1999. That might be a problem for the North Koreans." What else could explain the North Korean delegation's undiplomatic reaction after Thursday's 1-0 loss to Sweden? Rather than have the coach attend the postmatch news conference, as the international soccer federation mandates, team officials sent a representative whose translated remarks all but accused U.S. tournament organizers of deliberately undermining the North Koreans' chances. Pak Chung Nam complained bitterly about the refereeing and training conditions. He insisted that Swedish fouls against star Jin Pyol Hui went uncalled and that practice fields for his team were in poor condition and too far from the team's hotel. What else but politics or political indoctrination can one read into Jin Pyol Hui's statements after a 3-0 victory over Nigeria in the North Koreans' opening match? "What allowed me to score two goals," she said through an interpreter, "was all the players on our team working as one with team spirit, with one mind and determination as rendered to us by North Korean leader Kim Jong II." Kim, known as "Dear Leader," succeeded his father as North Korea's ruthless dictator. The official team liaison, Ha Chung Tae of Deerfield, Mass., tried to unravel some of the mystery behind the North Koreans' behavior. Ha said the team had practiced at four sites in the Philadelphia area, one a 50-minute drive from their hotel on a field of such poor quality two players injured themselves. Star Swedish forward Hanna Ljungberg noted matter-of-factly that her team faced the same inconveniences. "Local organizers did their best with a short preparation time," Ha said, referring to the tournament having been moved in May to the United States because of the SARS epidemic in China. The bus rides did give the regimented North Korean players an opportunity to consider the people on Philadelphia's streets. "Most of the players are very young, with very limited international experience," Ha said. "Most of them had never seen African-Americans or the unique hairstyles. They would always be saying, 'Look!' " The Chicago Tribune is a Tribune Publishing newspaper. mystery when the tournament began. It finished third in the 1999 World Cup, but this time it came with six players under age 20. No one was quite sure how the new mix would blend on the world's biggest stage. Now, the mystery is over. The Brazilians came within 10 seconds of going 3-0 in their group, shutting out South Korea, 3-0, surprising Norway, 4-1, and earning the 1-1 draw against the talented French. "Our expectations were not huge at the beginning," said Goncalves, who held out two of his starters yesterday because another yellow card on either would have sidelined them in the next round. "Now, those expectations have risen quite a bit. Against France we were well-tested." The only thing the French, who finished 1-1-1 in Group B, could not do consistently was score. They produced two goals in three games, both of them by Pichon. "Not scoring was not a surprise," said French coach Elisabeth Loisel, who knew at half-time her team was virtually eliminated because of Norway's big lead against South Korea, but did not tell her players. "Our big problem has been scoring." As Brazil advances, its job is to make sure mistakes like the one that occurred on Pichon's goal don't happen again. "To give up a goal like that at the very end is very frustrating," said Brazil forward Daniela. "From now on, one mistake like that and we're out." WOMEN'S WORLD CUP Standings GrOUP A W L T GF GA Pts United States 2 0 0 8 1 6 North Korea 110 3 13 Sweden 1 10 2 3 3 Nigeria 0 2 0 0 8 0 GrOUP B W L T GF GA Pts Brazil 2 0 1 8 2 7 Norway 2 1 0 10 5 6 France 1112 3 4 South Korea 0 3 0 1 11 0 GrOUP G W L T GF GA Pts Germany 3 0 0 13 2 9 Canada 2 10 7 5 6 Japan 1 2 0 7 6 3 Argentina 0 3 0 1 15 0 GrOUP D W L T GF GA Pts Russia 2 0 0 5 1 6 China 10 12 14 Australia 0 112 3 1 Ghana 0 2 0 0 4 0 Results, schedule Yesterday At Foxboro, Mass. Group B: Norway 7, South Korea 1 Group C: Canada 3, Japan 1 At Washington Group B: France 1, Brazil 1 Group C: Germany 6, Argentina 1 Today At Columbus, Ohio Group A: Sweden vs. Nigeria, 1 p.m. Group A: North Korea vs. United States, 3:30 p.m. At Portland, Ore. Group D: Ghana vs. Australia, 8:15 p.m. Group D: Russia vs. China, 11 p.m. Germany prevails, 6-1, but defender Jones out Veteran might miss rest of Cup with knee injury By Glenn P. Graham SUN STAFF WASHINGTON The first indication that it was going to be a dominating afternoon for the German women came moments before the first touch was played yesterday at RFK Stadium. Lined up side by side with their Argentine opponents for the teams' respective national anthems, the Germans stood considerably taller and looked decisively sturdier. Then, as expected, they were quicker, more skilled and better organized once play began, overwhelming World Cup-newcomer Argentina by a 6-1 score in the final match of Group C's preliminary round. Germany advanced to the quarterfinal round without seeing a serious challenge, outscor-ing Canada, Japan and Argentina by a 13-2 margin to easily take the group's top spot with a 3-0 mark. The win came at a potentially expensive price when central defender Steffi Jones falling on her own in the second half suffered a knee injury that German coach Tina Theune-Meyer said might be serious enough to keep her veteran out for the remainder of the tournament. Germany will travel to Portland, Ore., to play in the quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, but its opponent the second-place finisher of Group D won't be determined until first-round play is completed. Russia, China and Australia can all end up in that spot. "I think we scored wonderful goals, but during the game we had many chances to score more goals. We put pressure on them," said Theune-Meyer. "The bad thing is Steffi Jones went out of the game with an injury. It seems she'll be out of the tournament. It is a knee injury but we don't know yet." Theune-Meyer was right on when she said her German side scored a number of wonderful goals. Forward Maren Meinert got it started in the game's third minute, neatly placing a half-volley in the right corner from 10 yards following a cross from Kristin Stegemann. The Germans continued to methodically shred Argentina's defense throughout a four-goal, first -half flurry. After captain Bettina Wieg-mann made it 2-0 on a penalty kick, Birgit Prinz provided the highlight goal when, positioned slightly to the left of the goal about 10 yards out, she went up for a cross from Meinert and hit a half-volley that found the far right panel. Meinert then scored her second goal a strike with her left foot that found the right corner from 14 yards in the 43rd minute to take the Germans into the halftime break with the 4-0 lead. "It was our goal to win our group, but we didn't think it would be so easy," said Prinz. With a lack of funding and only eight months to prepare, Argentina (0-3) was overmatched in the tournament, but will take it as a positive step forward with more support promised from the Argentine Football Association. Despite trailing 4-0, the South Americans played a spirited second half and were rewarded with their first World Cup goal when halftime substitute Yanina Gaitan scored in the 71st minute. WORLD CUP GAMES TODAY Sweden vs. Nigeria Site: Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio Time: 1 p.m. TV: ESPNTelefutura Quick look: Sweden's Victoria Svens-son scored a goal in the seventh minute in Thursday's match with North Korea and her teammates made it stick in a 1-0 victory. Teammate Hanna Ljungberg is considered one of the world's top strikers. Veteran forward Mercy Akide is one of two Nigerians with WUSA experience and was named African Player of the Year in 2001. Sweden (1-1) would reach the Cup quarterfinals for the fourth straight time with a win in the Group A match. Jack McCarthy, Chicago Tribune United States vs. North Korea Site: Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio Time: 3:30 p.m. TV: Chs. 2, 7Telefutura Quick look: Mia Hamm, the 31-year-old forward making her fourth World Cup appearance, had a sensational game for the Americans against Nigeria on Thursday, scoring twice in a 5-0 Group A victory. She also leads the tournament in assists with four. North Korean goalie Jong Hui Ri has surrendered just one goal in two Group A games, while midfielder Jin Pyol Hui showed her scoring prowess with a pair of goals against Nigeria last Saturday. Crew Stadium is sold out as the defending World Cup champions (2-0) seek their fourth consecutive Cup quarterfinals berth. North Korea (1-1) needs a win if it hopes to advance. Jack McCarthy, Chicago Tribune Australia vs. Ghana Site: PGE Park, Portland, Ore. Time: 8:15 p.m. TV: Galavision Quick look: Ghana forward Alberta Sackey was inexplicably left on the bench for the first 57 minutes in Thursday's 3-0 Group D loss to Russia. The big question is whether the winless Ghanaians will do it again. Australia gained great credibility with its 1-1 tie against China, securing a rare point against one of the top four teams in the world. Lisa Dillman, Los Angeles Times China vs. Russia Site: PGE Park, Portland, Ore. Time: 11 p.m. TV: ESPN2Galavision Quick look: Amazingly, Russia could come out of Group D on top with a win or tie, earning a matchup against Canada in the quarterfinals. A loss would mean a considerably more difficult task against Germany. All this means there will be defense and more defense in the Group D finale. Lisa Dillman, Los Angeles Times OPEN SUNDAY! Rioht saw is r Lowest Price Guarantee! 72-hour Satisfaction Guarantee! Lifetime 24-hr Roadside Assistance Available! Platinum Plus Amenities! t wr r am Highest Trade-In Value! 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