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US Takes 3rd Place in Women's World Cup - 2003-10-12

The United States has taken third place in the Women's World Cup soccer tournament with a 3-1 victory over Canada.

The U.S. women struck first in the 22nd minute when veteran Kristine Lilly fired in a close range shot. Canadian Christine Sinclair took advantage of a miscue by U.S. goalkeeper Briana Scurry, catching her out of position and scoring in the 38th minute.

The U.S. women dominated the second half with goals by Shannon Boxx on a header in the 51st and by Tiffany Milbrett in the 80th minute. U.S. coach April Heinrichs says the U.S. defense played well throughout the Women's World Cup, but a key weakness was never able to be filled.

"I am prepared to admit now that the tournament is over that the loss of [defender] Brandi Chastain was critical to us," she said. "The casual observer would never know. Brandi's number one quality is her ability to possess the ball under pressure."

Chastain's foot was injured in the Unites States' opening World Cup game against Sweden. Heinrichs says the absence of Chastain may very well have cost the United States a chance to play in the final, after suffering a defensive breakdown against Germany in the semifinals. Germany and Sweden play for the championship later Sunday.