Pardon the melodrama, but what a moment. What drama in Dresden. Maybe it will seem more real if it’s all written out.
The U.S. today defeated Brazil in the quarterfinals of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. And for some time, that seemed like a highly unlikely result. That despite an excellent defensive performance.
The U.S. took the lead thanks to a Brazil own goal in the 2nd minute. In the second half Rachel Buehler got questionably called for a foul in the area that led to a red card and penalty. Hope Solo saved Cristiane’s penalty kick but it was called off presumably because a U.S. player (looked to be Boxx) had enroached in the area. Marta stepped up and buried the do-over penalty kick. Matters worsened for the U.S. as Marta scored magical goal in the 92nd minute with a deft touch. The U.S. looked to be headed towards its earliest elimination from a World Cup in history; a result not helped by poor refereeing and a bit of gamesmanship at the end.
It wasn’t over, though, as Abby Wambach drove in a header in the dying moment of stoppage time to level the affair at 1-1. Megan Rapinoe provided the perfect assist. It was the latest goal ever scored in a Women’s World Cup.
Penalty kicks. The U.S. converted its first three penalty kicks while Hope Solo stepped up to save Daiane’s. Megan Rapinoe calmly finished hers, as did Francielle after that. Ali Krieger then scored the decisive spot kick.
And it was all over, this on the 12th anniversary to the day of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup final.
Semifinals now. Almost there.