U.S. can't convert on Lilly's scoring chances

January 20, 2006
By Associated Press

GUANGZHOU, China -- The United States was held to a 0-0 tie by France in the Four Nations soccer tournament Friday despite several scoring chances by U.S. captain Kristine Lilly.

Abby Wambach and Heather O'Reilly both failed to score from inside the penalty area as the Americans outshot the French 11-3. The United States had been 10-0 against France.

"Both teams played a hard, physical game and there was very little space on the field," U.S. coach Greg Ryan said.

Playing in her record 301st international game, Lilly came close to scoring in the 79th minute when her free kick floated just over the crossbar. She was just wide of the far post in the 84th minute on a left-footed shot from 12 yards off a flick pass from Wambach.

In the day's second game, China defeated Norway 3-1 on goals by Han Duan, Bi Yan and Ma Xiaoxu. China leads the tournament on goal difference going into the final day of games Sunday.