In a thrilling quarterfinal, the United States leveled the match in the last minute of overtime despite being a player down for nearly an hour.
The US were gifted their first goal in the second minute when Brazil’s defender Daiane bundled the ball into the back of her net while attempting to clear a cross. Brazil equalized in the 68th on a penalty kick from their star, Marta.
Referee Jacqui Melksham and her officiating crew won no friends in America. Her decision to red-card US defender Rachel Buelher for the foul which led to the penalty seemed harsh. Things got even stranger when Ms. Melksham ruled that an American player had illegally encroached into the box before Brazil’s Cristiane took her penalty, which was saved by US ‘keeper Hope Solo. Replays showed that the encroachment, if it occurred, was a matter of inches. Marta scored easily from the retake.
When Marta scored again in the second minute of over-time after receiving a cross from a player who appeared to be offside, the game seemed over. But the US fought back: veteran striker Abby Wambaugh scored a brilliant header off Megan Rapinoe’s fine cross in the 122nd minute. It was the latest goal in World Cup history, men’s or women’s.
The US scored all five of their spot-kicks but Brazil’s Daiane had hers saved by Solo. Highlights are here.
The US will play France tomorrow evening in the semifinal.