Sunday, the United States narrowly avoided their earliest exit from World Cup play due largely to a ‘never give up’ attitude. The play of the match began with a beautiful left-footed cross pass from Megan Rapione to teammate Abby Wambach, who executed a razor sharp header past Brazilian goalkeeper, Andreia Suntaque. The highlight reel goal occurred as American fans watched the last remaining minutes of overtime tick off the clock.
Wambach’s goal which tied the match at 2-2 came during 3 minute stoppage time; stoppage time that included a yellow card issued to Erika dos Santos for stalling as overtime was running out.
The lone regulation time goal for the Americans was an own goal by Brazilian defender, Daiane Menezes whose pass miscue got past her team goalie, Andreia. The only regulation scoring for the Brazilian team came on a re-kick by Marta Viera.
Brazil’s go ahead overtime goal was also scored by Marta just minutes into overtime. Then with the ever growing reality of defeat facing the Americans, the Wambach goal sent the match into the penalty kick phase to determine which team would advance to the semi-final round.
The United States won the penalty kick shootout 5-3, with Alex Krieger scoring the winning goal. In addition to scoring a goal for the United States, Brazilian defender Daiane had her penalty kick picked off by United States goalie, Hope Solo. The final match scoring, 2-2, 5-3, put the United States in the semi-final round.
The United States will play France in the semi-final round Wednesday, July 13 in Moenchengladbach, Germany. By virtue of their win over Germany, the defending World Cup champion, Japan will play Sweden a 3-1 winner over Australia. The Japan vs. Sweden match will be played in Frankfurt, Germany.