Americans Beat Brazil In Dramatic World Cup Game

July 10, 2011

The Associated Press

The Americans are moving on to the semifinals after one of the most riveting games in the history of the Women's World Cup — beating Brazil 5-3 on penalty kicks after a 2-2 tie.

Abby Wambach scored to tie it in the 122nd minute, and goalkeeper Hope Solo denied the Brazilians again.

"Phenomenal," U.S. coach Pia Sundhage said. "Somebodys's writing this book. It speaks to the American attitude."

For Brazil, it is yet another disappointment at a major tournament. And this one is sure to sting more than any others because Marta had it won for the Brazilians on Sunday, scoring in the second minute of overtime for the 2-1 lead that would have sent the Americans to their earliest exit ever. But Erika stalled when she went down on a tackle, and the dilly-dallying added three minutes of stoppage time to the game.

That was all the time Wambach and the Americans needed.

Two minutes into stoppage time, Megan Rapinoe sent a blast of a cross from the left side that Andreia didn't come close to getting her hands on. Wambach, one of the best players in the world in the air, made contact and with one furious whip of her head, buried it in the near side of the net.

Wambach let out a primal scream and slid into the corner, pumping her fists, quickly being mobbed by her teammates.

The Americans, shooting first, made their three penalty kicks only to have Cristiane and Marta easily match them. But then it was Daiane's turn — the same Daiane who'd given the U.S. a 1-0 lead with an own goal in the second minute of the game. She took a hard shot, but Solo stretched out and batted it away.

Though the U.S. still had to make two more, the celebration was already starting. After Rapinoe smoked the net with a blast and Ali Krieger converted hers, the Americans raced onto the field, their joy only matched by the pro-American crowd of 25,598. Wambach tackled Solo while Marta and the Brazilians watched in stunned silence.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. To see more, visit http://www.ap.org/.

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