Football: Record crowd sees US win

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The Independent Online
THE LARGEST crowd ever to attend a women's sporting event watched Mia Hamm lead the United States to a 3-0 victory over Denmark in the opening Group A match of the 1999 Women's World Cup.

Hamm scored one goal - the 110th of her international career - and created another in a festive atmosphere at Giants Stadium watched by 78,972 fans. It was the largest attendance for any sports event at the venue, including men's World Cup matches in 1994. Only a visit by Pope John Paul II in 1995 attracted a larger crowd.

Hamm's goal came in the 17th minute, beating the Danish goalkeeper, Dorthe Larsen, after Brandi Chastain set her up with a long ball.

Hamm later set up Julie Foudy's close-range shot in the 73rd minute. A minute from time, Kristine Lilly pulled one back for Denmark. "Mia was awesome," said the US coach, Tony DiCicco, "but it's just the beginning. We can't get too overjoyed yet." The US face Nigeria at Chicago in their second match on Thursday.

In the second match here yesterday, Brazil demolished Mexico 7-1.

In San Jose, title contenders\ China managed a 2-1 Group D win over Sweden, while Canada and Japan drew 1-1 in their Group C opener.