The U.S. national soccer team’s winless streak grew to five games Saturday when the Americans tied China, 1-1, before 35,000 in their final game before the next round of World Cup ’98 qualifying.
The U.S. team, using only six regular starters, went ahead in the 25th minute on Alexi Lalas’ header, his first international goal since October 1995. Lalas scored off a corner kick by Tony Sanneh, making his first start.
Su Maozhen tied the score six minutes later for China, which defeated the U.S. team, 2-1, Wednesday at Kunming in the opener of the two-game series.
Lalas was red-carded in the 83rd minute after he pulled down Lu Jinyun and was given his second yellow card. The ejection means Lalas will have to sit out the United States’ next game--a World Cup qualifier against Jamaica in Kingston on March 2.
Lalas, fellow defenders Marcelo Balboa and Mike Burns, midfielder Cobi Jones and forwards Eric Wynalda and Brian McBride were the only regulars in the U.S. lineup.
The American team is 0-4-1 this year, having lost to Peru, Mexico and Denmark in the U.S. Cup before its China tour.