Friday, May 22, 2015

22 May 1999 - The World's Greatest International Goalscorer

On 22 May 1999, forward Mia Hamm scored her 108th goal for the US women's team, making her the all-time leading scorer in international history.

The record-setting goal came a the end of the first half in a friendly against Brazil, played at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida. The score was tied at 0-0 when teammate Cindy Parlow sent the ball into the path of Hamm in the Brazilians' penalty area. Hamm cut to the right, fought off a defender, then shot the ball through the legs of Brazilian keeper Dida to put the US ahead 1-0.

Brazil applied intense pressure in the second half, forcing a handful of acrobatic saves from US keeper Brianna Scurry, but were unable to find the back of the net. The hosts then extended their lead to 2-0 when forward Kristine Lilly received a 72nd-minute corner kick and kneed it home. The US scored the final goal in the 87th minute as Brandi Chastain took a quick throw that caught the Brazilians off guard. The throw went in the box to Lilly, who headed it down to Tiffany Milbrett for a strong volley into the goal.

The match was a warm-up for the 1999 World Cup, which opened the next month. The US went on to win their second World Cup trophy beating China in the Final. Brazil finished in third.

It was Hamm's 172d match for the US. Before her retirement in 2004, she made a total of 275 US appearances and extended her scoring record to 158. That remained the world record until 2013, when Abby Wambach scored her 159th goal (Wambach's current total is 182).

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