Lilly sets world record for international games played
GUANGZHOU, China -- Kristine Lilly scored the opening goal in her world-record 300th international game Wednesday, leading the United States past Norway 3-1 at the Four Nations tournament.
The 34-year-old American captain sent a free kick past Norwegian goalkeeper Bente Nordby in the 73rd minute to put the defending champions ahead.
Minutes later, her corner kick set up striker Shannon Boxx. Ronning Trine of Norway made a penalty kick to end a shutout streak for the U.S. at 1,009 minutes, dating back to the last match of 2004. Abby Wambach added the third U.S. goal to close out the scoring.
"To win and play so well in my 300th game, makes me feel even better," Lilly said.
Her milestone appearance came in the same country where she played for the United States in 1987 at age 16. Lilly played on teams that won the 1991 and 1999 Women's World Cup and the 1996 and 2004 Olympics.
"I still have the passion, I still love the game," she said. "I love the feeling of being out there, I love being part of the team, and I love winning. That's what keeps me coming back."
Lilly leads all male and female soccer players worldwide in international appearances. She has played in every World Cup game for the United States and has 105 goals, fifth among all women. She has appeared in 85 percent of the American women's team's 352 games in its 21-year history.
In the later game, France tied China 1-1. Bussaglia Elise opened the scoring for France in the 73rd minute before Han Duan scored during injury time.
"We had a good match today against an excellent team with high quality and techniques," said Chinese coach Ma Liangxiang, who is trying to rebuild a team that played poorly at the 2003 World Cup.
"The team is pretty new and we have many problems in the midfield, so we used some long balls to threaten their defense," Ma said.