SILVES, Portugal -- Kristine Lilly and Carli Lloyd scored to lead the United States over China 2-1 on Wednesday in the Americans' opener at the Algarve Cup.
Lilly converted a penalty kick for her 118th international goal after Abby Wambach was fouled in the penalty area in the 19th minute.
"I felt we had some great combinations when the ball was on the ground and we found the angles," Lilly said. "But once it got in the air and was bouncing around, it took a lot more effort for us to get the game going."
Han Duan tied it two minutes later with a glancing header off a free kick, but Lloyd put the Americans back ahead in the 38th minute with her second international goal. Wambach sent a cross to the back post, where Stephanie Lopez pulled the ball back for Lloyd to knock it in.
"I've been plugging away. I've hit some posts in my career so far," Lloyd said. "It felt good to get one in an important game in an important tournament."
The Americans integrated several veterans into the lineup after going with a young roster earlier this year.
"You only get better as you play together, and this was a great opportunity to play with Abby and Lil in the lineup," U.S. coach Greg Ryan said. The next game I think we'll be able to get Shannon [Boxx] and Aly [Wagner] in. The more they play together, they start getting the chemistry back."
In January, the Americans beat host China 2-0 on the way to winning the Four Nations Tournament.
Ryan said the 12-nation tournament in southern Portugal will help him decide how to use his players at the Women's World Cup in September.
"I am still trying to find the right chemistry, trying out different combinations," Ryan said.
The United States, which lost to Germany in last year's final, leads Group B along with Sweden, which beat Finland 3-0. The Americans play the Finns on Friday and the Swedes on Monday.
In Group A, Norway upset Women's World Cup champion Germany 2-1 and Denmark beat France 4-0.
Italy beat Iceland 2-1 and Portugal and Ireland tied 1-1 in Group C, which does not grant access to Wednesday's final.