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FOOTBALL

Twellman hattrick as U.S. hit five

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Twellman, left, led the U.S. to their best win over European opposition

CARSON, California (Reuters) -- Taylor Twellman scored a hat-trick to lead the U.S. to a crushing 5-0 victory over an inexperienced Norway side on Sunday.

The U.S. recorded their largest win over a European team in front of 16,366 fans, taking full advantage of a depleted Norwegian side which included three international debutants.

Twellman was on target after five, 17 and 77 minutes in Carson, California.

The game started quickly and the hosts opened the scoring after just five minutes.

Frankie Hejduk broke down the right and a skilful back heel to Clint Dempsey left the midfielder with enough space to provide an inch perfect cross for Twellman to score easily.

Twelve minutes later Todd Dunivant swung in a free kick and the unmarked Twellman headed past Norway Goalkeeper Espen Johnson into the top corner.

The second half began more slowly as the U.S. chose a more patient approach but they extended their lead on 66 minutes following a Landon Donovan corner.

Dunivant struck the ball across the face of the Norway goal and defender Eddie Pope stabbed it in from three metres.

Donovan was involved in a scuffle with Norway's Magne Hoset for which both players were booked before Pat Noonan chipped the ball into the path of Twellman who headed home to complete his hat-trick.

U.S. substitute Chris Klein scored the fifth four minutes from time to complete a highly satisfactory performance for coach Bruce Arena as he continues his preparations for the World Cup in Germany this year.

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