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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Kai scores again as U.S. tops France, 4-1

Advertiser News Services

FARO, Portugal Former University of Hawai'i standout Natasha Kai scored her second goal in her second game with the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team in a 4-1 win over France yesterday to help the team advance to the Algarve Cup title game against Women's World Cup champion Germany.

Kristine Lilly, Aly Wagner, Lindsay Tarplay and Kai scored for the Americans, who clinched first place in Group B. Hoda Lattaf had the lone goal for France.

Tomorrow's title game will be a repeat of last year's final, when the Americans won 1-0 to capture a third straight title.

Germany defeated Norway 1-0 on Petra Wimbersky's goal in the last minute of injury time. Germany already had won Group A after beating Finland and Sweden.

Lilly scored the 109th goal of her career with a powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area that went in off the crossbar one minute into the game.

Blunders by the French defense allowed the Americans to stretch their lead in the 52nd minute when Wagner scored from inside the penalty area. Tarplay then hit a left-footed volley in the 54th to put the game beyond France's reach.

Lattaf scored for France with a short volley in the 64th. France midfielder Sandrine Soubeyrand was then shown her second yellow card and sent off. Kai entered in the 73rd and scored three minutes later, lobbing a shot over goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi to complete the U.S. victory.

"Tasha's a goal scorer," U.S. coach Greg Ryan said on us soccer.com. "She loves scoring goals. Every time she steps on the field, she believes she's going to score and she's right most of the time."