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USA women rally to beat Brazil in penalties

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Down a goal and a player well into extra time, the U.S. women's national team looked ready to see their 2011 World Cup end earlier than expected.

That was before Abby Wambach stepped up and delivered a historic equalizer, and Hope Solo made a vital penalty shootout save to set the stage for an amazing comeback. U.S. penalty takers converted all five attempts, including Ali Krieger's conversion to clinch the shootout victory in the World Cup quarterfinals in Dresden, Germany on Sunday.

Having gone a man down after a questionable red card issued to Rachel Buehler in the 66th minute, the United States kept pressing for a winner. After the match went into extra time, Marta scored what looked to be the winner for Brazil, but Wambach headed home a Megan Rapinoe cross in the 122nd minute to send the match into penalties.

Solo made a clutch diving save on Brazil's third attempt, by Diane, and that was enough for the United States to pull out the shootout victory in the 12th anniversary of the USA's World Cup Final penalty shootout victory over China.

"That is a perfect example of what this country is about," Wambach said after the match. "What the history of this team has always been. We never give up. We literally went to the last secend it seems."

The victory was a deserved one for the United States after some questionable calls went against the Americans. Buehler was sent off for a challenge on Marta, and after Solo saved Brazil's initial penalty attempt, the match referee ordered the kick to be retaken. Marta converted the re-taken penalty to tie the score at 1-1.

The United States will take on France in the semifinals.


  1. Speculation is that the officials would not have flagged the Brazil goal keeper for jumping off her line on every PK.
    That would have been a cruel end if a USA player had missed.

  2. I’m betting that Boxx moves to center back for France. Also, When we went to 10.. I kind of liked when Abby dropped back into the mid and was running to space instead of waiting to gain the ball and plunge through.

    I liked the way our defense pretty much checked those fabulous Brazillian strikers.. I think that they’ll fare well vs the French, whom I also believe is less fit than Brazil. If we play the ball up through the midfield, Rampone and Boxx’s pressure and deft distribution being in the game early, The Frenchies will be hanging onto their shorts by the hour mark. They have a couple of tall targets, but Thomis is no Marta and I’m feeling that we’ll pester the hell out of her.

    I’m on a positive for this Semi!

    Go USA

  3. @Predicto, well said! Once we went down to 10, we finally started that strategy and that in fact had a massive negative effect on the Brazil fitness and stamina.

    Playing cool, possessing and building through the midfield and for the most part stopping the long balls was a large contributing factor in our loss to SWE.

  4. Marta dove two or three times and whined continuously. Brasil also faked injuries. The whistles and boos were well deserved.

  5. I didn’t know non-inflammatory, non-vulgar comments got deleted. Guess “the big man” doesn’t like dissent, lol.

  6. I agree with all of you. I can’t understand everyone saying she played poorly. She did fantastically to create space on that sideline and when she has possession she held it. The cross was top notch and her penalty was absolutely buried.

  7. I agree I’ve been saying that for a while now. Its just sickening when you see that I know they added on some of the wasted time at the end but not all and she got a yellow but we see it in big games all the time and it would be easy to fix.

  8. In almost every international competition I come away thinking the following reforms should be made for the good of the game. 1) put 2 referees on the pitch one for each half so they are not constantly out of position. 2) if a player stops play because of an “injury” they have to leave the pitch and cannot be let back on for 10 minutes. 3) have a fifth official in a booth who can electronicaly monitor offsides and radio the ref on the field.

  9. More reporting is needed on the horrible officiating at the world cup. Almost every game, there are horrible, rookie mistakes and game changing calls made. Where’s the outrage?

  10. I can’t help but be disgusted over Mexico’s dominance this summer. It makes me sick to the stomach as a USA fanatic. The Mexican U-17 squad looks very good, but I wonder how well they would have performed in another country. Would the USA U-17 team reach the finals while playing at home?

  11. USA deserved to win. Brazil scored their goals off horrific officiating decisions. That ref deserves nothing more than a pink slip after that performance.

    Abby Wambach = Landon Donovan & Brian McBride’s daughter.

  12. One of the most amazing games ever for USA! The ladies kept their composure after getting bad call after bad call. Wambach’s header was amazing. Can’t forget Rapinoe’s pinpoint cross to her as well. And then Solo. All they needed was one stop and she provided it. What an ending!

  13. France is also ripe for counterattacks and their defense is not great. I suspect the US will try a “launch it and hope for fouls in dangerous positions” strategy.

  14. Wow, 200 comments for a USWNT team? That’s about 40-50% of a USMNT WC game, but still amazing that this many people watched and commented on the game.

    We still have a ways to go for a possession game. We don’t have the female equivalent of a Xavi/Ineista (yes, that’s a tall order) to possess the ball and make great passess. Watch France and their possession game. They will find holes.

    I don’t know the USWNT players well enough to say anything about who should sit / start. That said, I thought Rapinoe was dangerous when she was on the field (pace and some skills to boot). A.Morgan didn’t seem to do much. Wambach was good. A.Rod was off. Boxx was ok, though much more a holding mid than a creator (not well suited to a 442 midfielder focused on possession). I had a hard time figuring out which ones were Cheney, Lyod, O’Reilly during the game.


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