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United States tops Brazil 3-0 in women's Kirin Cup

U.S. national women's soccer team members, from left, Hope Solo, Christie Rampone, Kelley O’Hara, Amy Lepellbet, Shannon Boxx, Heather Mitts, Carli Lloyd, Lauren Cheney, Alex Morgan, Rachel Buehler, and Abby Wambach listen to their national anthem prior t
U.S. national women's soccer team members, from left, Hope Solo, Christie Rampone, Kelley O’Hara, Amy Lepellbet, Shannon Boxx, Heather Mitts, Carli Lloyd, Lauren Cheney, Alex Morgan, Rachel Buehler, and Abby Wambach listen to their national anthem prior to their Kirin Challenge Cup friendly match against Japan in Sendai, Japan, Sunday, April 1, 2012.
Shizuo Kambayashi, Associated Press

CHIBA, Japan — Carli Lloyd, Shannon Boxx and Amy Rodriguez scored as the United States beat Brazil 3-0 in the three-team Kirin Cup on Tuesday.

Lloyd picked up a loose ball from Christie Rampone's free kick in the 18th minute and scored from close range. Boxx doubled the lead five minutes later with a header from a free kick by Lauren Cheney. Rodriguez completed the scoring in the 83rd, slotting home a loose ball from a free kick by Cheney.

"We scored two good goals in the first half," United States coach Pia Sundhage said. "We looked very good on set pieces and that's something we talked about so I'm happy about that. Playing teams like Japan and Brazil is always good preparation for the Olympics."

Tuesday's game started four hours earlier than scheduled because heavy rain and strong winds were forecast to hit Chiba.

Conditions were calm in the first half but the rain and wind picked up after the break. Because of the rescheduled time only 500 people attended the match at the 18,000-seat Fukuda Denshi Arena.

The friendly tournament features three of the top four teams in the world. The United States is ranked No. 1, just ahead of Germany, while Japan is No. 3 and Brazil is No. 4.

Brazil was without five-time FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Marta, who was left off the squad to prepare for matches with her Swedish club Tyreso.

"It wasn't our best squad so we knew it would be a tough match," Brazil coach Jorge Barcellos said. "But we wanted to give some of our younger players some chances as we prepare for the Olympics."

Japan and the United States played to a 1-1 draw in the opening match in Sendai on Sunday. The final game — Brazil vs. Japan — is on Thursday.