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Two Former Women's World Cup Champions Play for Third Place

The United States and Norway are aiming to salvage a third place finish Sunday at the Women's World Cup football (soccer) tournament in China. VOA's Jim Stevenson reports from Shanghai, where both teams are seeking a measure of pride.

While the United States will not be playing for a third Women's World Cup title, captain Kristine Lilly says her team wants one last win.

"The third place game is extremely important. As a group, to finish a World Cup experience, obviously you want to win on a high note. To show our fans that we can play better soccer. And I think you do not always have another game. But we have another game. And it is our opportunity to get on the field and show what we can do and how we love this game and make our country proud. Because that is why we are here. We are representing our country," she said.

Norway was the Women's World Cup champion 12 years ago and placed third at the inaugural tournament in 1991. Since a fourth place finish at the 1999 event, the Norwegians have been slowly rebuilding the team.

This year, forward Ragnhild Gulbrandsen is tied with Brazil's Cristiane with five tournament goals, two behind World Cup leader Marta of Brazil.

German coach Silvia Neid guided her team to a 3-0 semifinal win over Norway, and says the Scandinavians share much in common with the United States. "It will be an exciting game tomorrow. The United States plays with a similar strategy and system as Norway," she said.

The third place game at Hongkou Stadium in Shanghai precedes the championship game between Germany and Brazil.