March 13, 2001

United States Defeats Portugal 2-0 in Algarve Cup

March 13, 2001

SILVES, Portugal (AP) - Christie Welsh and Stephanie Rigamat scored Tuesday as the United States defeated Portugal 2-0 in the Algarve Cup.

Welsh scored in the 62nd minute on an assist from Katherine Reddich, and Rigamat scored with three minutes left.

Welsh's goal in the 62nd minute ended a 315-minute scoreless streak for the U.S. women stretching over four matches and dating back to a 1-1 tie with China in January. Rigamat, who entered the game in the 63rd minute just after Welsh's tally, added her first international goal.

The United States, the defending champion, lost to Canada 3-0 in its opener. The Americans sent a young roster because the veterans are preparing for the start of the new U.S. women's league next month.

The U.S. team included two 16-year-olds: defender Amy Steadman and forward Kristen Weiss. No U.S. player was over 20 in Tuesday's game.

``We showed signs of a lack of confidence at the beginning of the game, which is not surprising when you go two games without scoring a goal,'' coach April Heinrichs said. ``But our competitiveness during the course of the game got a little bit better, and the spirit with which we played forced the game to get stretched out, which was to our advantage.''

Sweden (2-0) beat Canada 5-2 and leads Group A with six points, three ahead of Canada and the United States (both 1-1) and six ahead of Portugal (0-2). The Americans play Sweden on Thursday.