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FIFA Women's World Cup: USA Beat Brazil in Penalties

Abby Wambach's late header took the quarter-final tie to penalties

In one of the most riveting games in the history of Women’s World Cup, USA defeated Brazil 5-3 on penalty kicks after a 2-2 tie in the last quarter final match of the Women’s World Cup 2011 to set up a Semi Final clash against France on Wednesday.

The two times world champions took the lead early on in the 2nd minute when a Shannon Box cross was kick sliced into her own net by Brazilian defender Daiane.  20 minutes later, five times world player of the year Marta showed the Americans that Brazil are not the ones to give up when she dribble from the centre to fire a shot which whipped past the bar.

However in the 68th minute Marta scored from a penalty after she was brought down by Buehler inside the box as they both went for the ball. Buehler was given the marching order but Cristiane’s penalty shot was saved by the American goalie. Justice seemed to have been done to the Americans but the Brazilian was ordered a retake of the kick as Solo appeared to hop in the direction before she had dived.

With neither side being able to break the dead lock in the stipulated 90 minutes, Marta once again scored for the Brazilians in the 2nd minute of the overtime which did seems to have sent the Americans to their earliest exit ever. With time running out, the American’s kept fighting till Erika 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 the stoppage time, Wambach netted a terrific header off Megan Rapinoe’s cross which gave her side the precious life line which was all they needed for a historic win in the shoot-out.

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.



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