Sunday, September 21, 2003

Otani's hat trick sends Japan over Argentina

Women's World Cup roundup

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - Mio Otani scored three goals over a span of 11 minutes and Homare Sawa added two goals and an assist as Japan routed Argentina 6-0 Saturday night in the World Cup.

Emi Yamamoto added a goal and an assist as the Japanese moved to the top of Group C.

Otani became the first player of the tournament to get a hat trick with a goal in the 81st minute off a diving header from 10 yards out on a cross by Sawa. She also had goals in the 72nd and 75th minutes.

Germany 4, Canada 1

COLUMBUS - Maren Meinert assisted on two second-half goals, including the go-ahead score by Stefanie Gottschlich, for the Germans in a Group C contest.

Birgit Prinz also scored a second-half goal for the Germans.

Canada's Christine Sinclair shocked Germany with a goal four minutes into the game. But the Germans tied it on Bettina Wiegmann's penalty kick in the 39th minute.

Germany's Kerstin Garefrekes added a goal in stoppage time.

Norway 2, France 0

PHILADELPHIA - The Norwegians, ranked second in the world, often were threatened by the French, but Bente Nordby was impenetrable in goal. She made her best save on a dive to her right to stop a twisting 20-yard shot by Elodie Woock in the first half of the Group B game.

For half the Group B game, she was matched by France's Celine Marty, who was more spectacular. But Marty could do nothing on the first goal, as Anita Rapp planted her towering frame deep in the penalty area and headed home a perfect 25-yard free kick from Brit Sandaune.

Dagny Mellgren scored the second goal for Norway.

"Our goal is to take the gold medal, and we think we can do it," Mellgren said. "But, of course, it's a tough ride."

North Korea 3, Nigeria 0

PHILADELPHIA - The Koreans had a 20-9 margin in shots and got two goals from Jin Pyol Hui, who also set up the other score.

"What made me score was all the players ran as one," Jin said through an interpreter. "We ran ... with full power and determination."

Not much is known about North Korea, which rarely plays outside of its continent but owns the last two Asian championships. On Saturday, the team displayed superb passing skills and speed in its Group A game.

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