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Japan's tactical prowess shines through

U-17 World Cup
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By ESPN Staff

Tarpley leads U.S. past Finland

GUANGZHOU, China -- Lindsay Tarpley scored two goals and the United States beat Finland 4-1 on Friday to take the lead at the Four Nations Tournament.

The Americans played most of the game in Finland's half, firing 19 shots to the Finns' four. The U.S. also had 16 corner kicks to Finland's two.

The United States took the lead in the 37th minute when Tarpley poked the ball home in a goal-mouth scramble. Two minutes later, the forward struck again with a shot from 15 yards to make it 2-0.

"I'm very satisfied with the way they knocked it around," U.S. coach Pia Sundhage said. "They kept possession in the first half. They did very well with swinging from one side to another. We had problems penetrating. We didn't create as many chances as I wanted to."

Finland pulled within a goal in the 54th when Essi Sainio drilled a shot at U.S. goalkeeper Briana Scurry, who let the ball slip through her hands. Scurry had one save, while Finland's Korpela Tinja-Riikka had seven.

The Finns almost tied it in the 67th when a shot by Anna-Kaisa Rantanen hit the cross bar and bounced out.

But the Americans overcame that scare to extend the lead in the 69th when forward Lauren Cheney shot the ball into the left corner of the net. Midfielder Angela Woznuk sealed the win with a goal in the 80th from about 10 yards.

The Americans, who beat Canada 4-0 in the first round, play China on Sunday. The Chinese, who defeated Finland 2-0 on Wednesday, ad a draw against Canada on Friday.

The U.S. is using this tournament as preparation for Olympic qualifiers in Mexico in April.