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WORLD CUP TEAMS PLAY ON IN A SAUNA

By Ross Atkin / June 21, 1994



BOSTON

During a steamy weekend when shade and central air conditioning were priorities to many, the World Cup soccer tournament began heat-testing teams in several American cities.

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Among them was the defending-champion squad from Germany, which edged Bolivia, 1-0, in the opening game held at Chicago's Soldier Field.

Some expected that the United States team, which has not won a World Cup match since 1950, might enjoy a home-heat advantage playing the first-ever indoor World Cup game against Switzerland in a sauna-like Silverdome in Pontiac, Mich. The Swiss did not wilt, though, and the teams played to a 1-1 tie.

To advance out of the first-round, round-robin play, a victory will probably be necessary, and the Americans figured that they stood a decent chance to ring up three tournament points against Switzerland (a tie is worth one point, a loss zero).

The Americans now move to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., to take on Colombia, a pre-tournament dark horse that is seeking to rebound from a 3-1 upset by Romania.

In another notable result, Ireland upset Italy, 1-0. Italy is a three-time Cup champion.