U.S. women settle for scoreless tie with South Korea
CINCINNATI -- Nicole Barnhart and Briana Scurry each made three saves in the United States' 0-0 tie with South Korea on Wednesday night that snapped an eight-match winning streak.
The U.S. women's team's last loss was a 2-0 defeat to Norway in the opening game of the Beijing Olympics, and the United States went on to win the gold medal.
"Both of them played well," U.S. coach Pia Sundhage said of the goalkeepers. "They had to come up with some big saves. They did well."
A crowd of 5,877 was on hand at Paul Brown Stadium, the home of the NFL's Bengals, for the fifth of eight exhibitions in the United States team's Achieve Your Gold Tour.
The tour continues Saturday against South Korea at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
Both teams missed scoring opportunities in the first half. An apparent goal by U.S. midfielder Shannon Boxx in the 30th minute was waved off by an offside call. Less than a minute later, midfielder Lindsay Tarpley clanged a shot off the crossbar.
South Korea had its chances. Midfielder Kwon Han Nul's shot in the 35th minute was knocked over the crossbar by Barnhart, who in the 43rd minute made a save on forward Park Hee Young's shot from just outside the box.
Scurry took over in the second half and was tested almost immediately, stopping defender Kim Yoo Mi's point-blank shot in the 53rd minute.
South Korea goalkeeper Jun Minkyung deflected forward Natasha Kai's header off Aly Wagner's corner kick over the crossbar in the 74th minute. That sparked a series of fruitless U.S. corner kicks over a six-minute span.
Jun was credited with four saves.
The shutout was the fourth by the U.S. on the current tour.
"It's always nice for a defender, keeping the ball out of the back of the net," said defender Heather Mitts, a Cincinnati native. "I just think [South Korea's] a really good team. They were on top of their game, and I think the surface was a big difference."