During the Women's World Cup quarterfinals Sunday morning, Americans sat glued to their TVs as the U.S. battled Brazil in a thrilling soccer match. After ending overtime in a 2-2 tie, the U.S. won the game in a penalty kick shootout. "I'm at a loss and I literally cannot believe what just happened," said American forward Abby Wambach, who scored a key goal. "But we've got two games left."
The win may sendthe U.S. women on the path to their third World Cup title, and their first since 1999. They will play France in Wednesday's semifinal. The winner of that game meets Sweden or Japan in the final next weekend in Dresden, Germany.
Competition Heats Up
The U.S. wasawarded an early lead after Brazil accidentally scored on their own goal. But the Brazilians got a lucky break when the referee awarded a red card to American Rachel Buehler. This prohibited her from returning onto the field for the rest of the game, leaving the Americans one woman short from the 66th minute on. Brazil was able to tie the game 1-1 before time was up. Then the game went into overtime.
During the second minute of overtime, Brazil scored a goal, and it looked as if they would win. But with only minutes remaining, Wambach tied up the game againwith an incredible header (a shot made with the head). "I kept saying, all it takes is one chance," said Wambach. "I kept holding up one finger to the girls."
Another Loss for Brazil
Each team was awarded penalty kicks to break the tie. The U.S. team made all five attempts. American goalie Hope Solo, who had made a stellar performance all day, blocked Brazil's third penalty kick attempt, winning the match for the U.S. The Americans raced onto the field, and more than 25,000 fans broke out in cheers. "It is a special moment for me and for this team," Solo said.
Brazil has never won a major tournament. They have lost to the Americans multiple times, including in two Olympic gold-medal games. "They fought, they did everything," Brazil coach Kleiton Lima said. "They threw their hearts into it and, of course they were really sad."