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h0267 BC-SOC-WWCUP-US 1stLd-Writethru 09-19 0784

Soccer

Chalupny sparks U.S. women

SHANGHAI, China — Lori Chalupny has experienced three decisive moments in China.

The first threatened her soccer career. The last were much better: two eye-catching goals for the U.S. national team’s quiet midfielder.

The latest goal came Tuesday after just 57 seconds, the second-fastest in tournament history. It sent the No. 1-ranked Americans past Nigeria 1-0 and into the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup.

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"That goal, being my first World Cup goal, was an amazing feeling," said Chalupny, a former defender prone to menacing late runs. On the Nigeria goal, she stabbed in a close shot off a header from Abby Wambach.

Her other China goal came eight months ago in the Four Nations tournament, where Chalupny’s soaring 20-yard strike helped beat China 2-0.

"That goal was a big confidence builder for me, showing that I can make a difference in these games," said Chalupny, who will guide the midfield in Saturday’s quarterfinal against England.

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