DRESDEN, Germany (July 10, 2011) – The U.S. Women’s National Team earned one of the most dramatic wins in FIFA Women’s World Cup history, scoring the tying goal in the dying seconds of overtime while playing with 10 players for more than 55 minutes. Wambach Goal in the 122nd Minute is Latest Goal in Women’s World Cup History; Score Comes in the Final Moments of Overtime. Boxx, Lloyd, Wambach, Rapinoe and Krieger Convert in Penalty Shootout. U.S. Will Face France in Semifinal on July 13 in Mönchengladbach at 11:30 a.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN3.com and Galavision
U.S. forward Abby Wambach scored the latest goal in Women’s World Cup history when she headed home a cross from Megan Rapinoe to tie the game at 2-2 in the second minute of stoppage time in the second and final 15-minute overtime period. The USA then showed tremendous composure to convert all five of its penalty kicks in the shootout with U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo saving Brazil’s third attempt by Daiane to give the Americans the margin of victory.
Ali Krieger, who has played the last four years in Germany for FFC Frankfurt, nailed the fifth and decisive penalty after Shannon Boxx, Carli Lloyd, Wambach and Rapinoe had all scored. Boxx initially had her shot saved, but replays showed that Brazilian goalkeeper Andreia had moved off her line early, and the kick was correctly ordered to be retaken by Australian referee Jacqui Melksham. Boxx calmly converted her second attempt to get the USA started in the shootout.
The USA will now travel to Mönchengladbach where it will face France in the semifinal on July 13 with a kickoff at 11:30 a.m. ET live on ESPN, ESPN3.com and Galavision. Fans can also follow on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt.
“It’s hard to put together all the thoughts I have,” U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage said. “There’s something to be said about this team. This American attitude of pulling everything together and bringing out the best performance in each other is contagious. I am very, very proud and I’m very, very happy to be the coach for the U.S. team.” [more quotes]
The match was a topsy-turvy emotional rollercoaster with the U.S. getting things underway with a dream start on a Brazil own goal by Daiane just 74 seconds into the match. The U.S. held the 1-0 lead until the game took one of many dramatic turns as Rachel Buehler and five-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Marta clashed in the left side of the penalty area in the 65th minute. Melksham ruled that Buehler had denied Marta an obvious scoring opportunity, awarded a penalty kick to Brazil and sent off the U.S. central defender, forcing the USA to play a woman down for the rest of the game, which included the 30-minute overtime period.
Cristiane stepped up to take the kick, but Solo dove full out to her left to push the shot away. As the U.S. team celebrated wildly, Melksham stunned the American side by ordering the kick to be retaken for an apparent encroachment violation. Marta stepped up to take the second chance and buried it, tying the score at 1-1.
As the half continued, the U.S. gained the support of the sold-out crowd at Rudolf-Harbig Stadium, who perhaps felt the USA had been slighted, and urged the USA forward despite the playing down a player. The U.S. ended up with the better of play during the final 23 minutes after the penalty, but regulation ended with the teams tied.
In the second minute of extra time, Marta took a pass from Maurine, who was apparently offside, to convert a beautiful left-footed flick that bounced on the turf and off the right post before settling behind Solo to give Brazil a 2-1 advantage.
Boxx dropped deeper from her center midfield position to cover for Buehler and was able to settle the team. The veteran also distributed well from that withdrawn position, helping the USA actually control more of the game with 10 players than they had managed with 11.
The USA never stopped pressing for an equalizer and when Melksham added three minutes of extra time to the second overtime period after Brazil’s Erika was cautioned for some time-wasting shenanigans, the U.S. took full advantage. The play to score the tying goal started in the 122nd minute in the back with Kreiger intercepting a pass in the right corner. She played a pass forward to Lloyd who dribbled to the center circle before finding Rapinoe on the left wing. The 55th-minute substitute played a high, swerving cross over both Daiane and goalkeeper Andreia that Wambach met with a leaping header, sending the ball just inside the right post from six yards out, touching off an unbridled celebration from the U.S. team.
“It was a perfect ball,” Wambach said. “She got an opportunity down the left flank. She sent the ball in and it just popped over that defender’s head. I was sitting on that back post and headed it near post. I’m so happy it went in.”
The goal in the 120th minute was the 120th of Wambach’s career and her 11th in the FIFA Women’s World Cup play, tying her for fourth all-time behind Marta, Birgit Prinz of Germany and U.S. legend Michelle Akers. The U.S. advances to the semifinals for the sixth-straight tournament – every tournament that has been held in fact – and exacts a measure of revenge against Brazil which eliminated the U.S. at the semifinal stage in 2007. Coincidentally, that was the last match that saw the U.S. receive a red card.
The U.S., which wore its black uniforms for the first time in this tournament, earned a foul on Amy Rodriguez just 44 seconds into the game that set up the first goal. Lauren Cheney’s free kick was poorly struck and hit the wall, but Cheney hustled to keep possession and dropped the ball back for Christie Rampone. The U.S. captain played a long, low pass to the opposite side of the field. Wambach alertly dummied the pass while screening a defender, allowing Boxx to chase the ball to the left end line. Her left-footed cross could have found the crashing Wambach or Lloyd, but instead Daiane completely mishit a right-footed clearance and the ball deflected into the right side of the net.
Brazil’s best chances in the first half came via an Aline header into the side left netting and a shot off the crossbar from outside the penalty area near the end-line by Fabiana.
In the second half, the skillful Brazilians put together some excellent possession, but Solo continued to demonstrate her dominance with a two-handed save on a Cristiane shot toward the corner in the 60th minute. Three minutes later Lloyd rattled the crossbar with a header after winning a ball that Rapinoe had swerved into the area.
Before the stoppage time score, the Wambach also had a 98th minute chance that called Andreia to make her biggest save of the game, pushing her left-footed drive just left of the goal.
Notably, the result in the penalty shootout came on the 12th anniversary of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup final against China that also saw the U.S. win a penalty shootout. On that day in the Rose Bowl the U.S. also converted all five penalties with the U.S. goalkeeper Briana Scurry saving China’s third attempt.
– U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Brazil
Date: July 10, 2011
Competition: 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup – Quarterfinal
Venue: Rudolf-Harbig Stadium; Dresden, Germany
Kickoff: 11:30 a.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. local
Weather: 79 degrees, cloudy
1-0 USA – Daiane (own goal) 2nd minute
1-1 BRA – Marta (penalty kick) 68
1-2 BRA – Marta (Maurine) 92
2-2 USA – Abby Wambach (Megan Rapinoe) 120+2
USA: Boxx (goal), Lloyd (goal), Wambach (goal), Rapinoe (goal), Krieger (goal)
BRA: Cristiane (goal), Marta (goal), Daiane (saved) , Francielle (goal)
U.S. advances 5-3 on PKs
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 19-Rachel Buehler, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 6-Amy LePeilbet; 9-Heather O’Reilly (17-Tobin Heath, 108), 7-Shannon Boxx, 10-Carli Lloyd, 12-Lauren Cheney (15-Megan Rapinoe, 55); 8-Amy Rodriguez (13-Alex Morgan, 72), 20-Abby Wambach
Subs not used: 2-Heather Mitts, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 5-Kelley O’Hara, , 14-Stephanie Cox, , 16-Lori Lindsey, , 18-Nicole Barnhart, 21-Jill Loyden
Head coach: Pia Sundhage
BRAZIL: 1-Andreia; 3-Daiane, 4-Aline, 13-Erika; 14-Fabiana, 8-Formiga (5-Renata Costa, 113), 7-Ester, 2-Maurine; 11-Cristiane, 6-Rosana (15-Francielle, 85), 10-Marta
Subs not used: 9-Beatriz, 12-Barbara, , 16-Elaine, 17-Daniele, 18-Thais Guedes, 19-Grazielle, 20-Roseane, 21-Thais
Head coach: Kleiton Lima
Statistical Summary: USA / BRA
Shots: 14 / 16
Shots on Goal: 5 / 6
Saves: 4 / 3
Corner Kicks: 11 / 6
Fouls: 17 / 19
Offside: 4 / 2
USA – Carli Lloyd (caution) 29th minute
BRA – Aline (caution) 44
BRA – Marta (caution) 45
USA – Rachel Buehler (sent off) 65
USA – Hope Solo (caution) 67
USA – Megan Rapinoe (caution) 90+1
BRA – Maurine (caution) 112
USA – Shannon Boxx (caution) 113
BRA – Erika (caution) 117
Referee: Jacqui Melksham (AUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Allyson Flynn (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Sarah Ho (AUS)
Fourth Official: Etsuko Fukano (JPN)
Bud Light Woman of the Match: Hope Solo
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