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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, March 12, 2006

Kai scores as U.S. tops Denmark

Associated Press


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FARO, Portugal Heather O'Reilly scored twice and former Kahuku and University of Hawai'i standout Natasha Kai added a goal as the U.S. women's team beat Denmark, 5-0, in the Algarve Cup yesterday.

Kai became the first player from Hawai'i to compete for the full U.S. women's national team and the 15th woman in U.S. history to score in her first-ever cap.

Her second-half goal capped the scoring for the U.S., which only needs a tie against France tomorrow to qualify for the March 15 final against Germany.

Kai's goal came off a blunder by Danish defender Janne Madsen, who topped a pass back to goalkeeper Heidi Johansen. Kai intercepted the rolling ball, dribbled into the left side of the penalty area and lifted a perfect right-footed chip from a fairly sharp angle over Johansen, just under the crossbar and into the net.

Captain Kristine Lilly and Abby Wambach also scored for the U.S. team in its largest margin of victory in the 13-year history of the tournament.

Lilly's goal was the 108th of her career, moving her into sole possession of second place on the women's international scoring list behind former teammate Mia Hamm (158 career goals).

Wambach opened the scoring in the 26th minute, and four minutes later O'Reilly scored after Carli Lloyd's shot hit the post.

O'Reilly picked up her second goal in the 31st after collecting a 20-yard pass from Lilly. Lilly scored to make it 4-0 in the 44th.

"We had confidence, especially after Abby's first goal went in," U.S. coach Greg Ryan said. "The goal difference is great for the U.S., and should help us get into the final if we play well against France."

The U.S. Soccer Web site contributed to this report.