Soccer: U.S. eliminates Brazil to reach semis

15:10, July 11, 2011      

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US goalkeeper Hope Solo makes a save during their Women's World Cup quarter-final soccer match against Brazil in Dresden July 10, 2011. (Photo/Agencies)

The shorthanded United States stunned Brazil on Sunday with Abby Wambach's late 2-2 equalizer in the last seconds of extra time and advanced to semifinals of FIFA Women's World Cup with 5-3 on penalties.

Brazil, boasting five-time world's best player Marta, witnessed a horrible start as defender Daiane Menezes Rodrigues slotted a clearance attempt into her own goal only two minutes into the game.

After the break, Brazil frantically pressed for the equalizer but they remained incapable to overcome US goalkeeper Hope Solo.

On 66 minutes, US defender Rachel Buehler fouled Marta in the box to give Brazil a penalty attempt and to book a straight red card.

Solo hope denied the attempt by Brazil striker Cristiane Rozeira de Souza but referee Jacqui Melksham order to re-play the penalty due to an irregularity. This time, Marta sent the ball into the bottom left to equalize the score in the 68th minute.

After the 1-1 regular time, Marta showed her power again to net a cross only two minutes into the extra time.

The United States looked as the obvious loser but striker Abby Wambach headed home the 2-2 equalizer in the dying seconds.

In the breathtaking penalty shootout, Brazil defender Rodrigues, who had produced the own goal, failed to convert the penalty to wrap the surprising defeat for her side.

The United States will encounter France at the semifinals in Monchengladbach on Wednesday.

Source: Xinhua
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