WOMEN'S WORLD CUP

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China Women

  • Wen Sun 29'

Sun Wen header enough for China

CARSON, Calif. -- Sun Wen, the MVP of the last Women's World

Cup, scored on a header in the 29th minute Sunday night and China

began the 2003 tournament with a 1-0 victory over Ghana.

China, beaten by the United States in the 1999 World Cup final,

was scheduled to host this year's tournament. But the SARS outbreak

there led FIFA officials to shift the competition to the United

States.

The skilled Chinese, one of the world's top teams for the past

decade, controlled the game with superior passing and tactics.

Goalkeeper Zhao Yan got the shutout, although China's defense kept

Ghana from mounting many serious threats.

The 30-year-old Sun, who has said she is retiring after the

World Cup, was a constant presence with her dribbling and pinpoint

passes that helped to keep China on the attack.

Sun also blocked a free kick by Alberta Sackey from just outside

the box in the 57th minute, one of Ghana's few scoring

opportunities. The ball struck Sun in the face, and she fell to the

turf and lay there motionless for a moment before springing up and

chasing the play downfield.

Her goal finished a well-executed sequence. Bai Jie took a

throw-in just on the left side just outside the box, whirled

quickly toward the goal line and sent a high pass toward the far

post. As goalkeeper Memunatu Sulemana jumped, the ball sailed just

beyond her reach and Sun -- in perfect position -- leaped and knocked

the ball into the goal.

It was her 106th career goal.

Wen had a tournament-leading seven goals in the 1999 World Cup,

but the Chinese were left looking for their first world title when

the Americans defeated them 5-4 on penalty kicks in the

championship game at the nearby Rose Bowl.

Ghana, ranked 53rd internationally, played determined defense

against China, which is ranked No. 4 and was heavily favored in the

Group D match. Ghana is led by Sackey and Elizabeth Baidu, both

NAIA All-Americans at Robert Morris College in Illinois.

Scoring Summary

  • Ghana Women
  • China Women
 
(29') Wen Sun

Match Stats

  • Ghana Women
  • China Women
0(0) Shots (on goal) 0(0)
0 Fouls 0
0 Corner kicks 0
0 Offsides 0
0% Time of Possession 0%
1 Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
0 Saves 0

Teams

  • Ghana Women
  • China Women
Substitutes
Substitutions
Liping Ren for Ouying Zhang (88')
Feifei Qu for Lina Pan (36')
Yali Liu for Duan Han (59')
Yellow Cards