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US Women Defeat Brazil in FIFA World Cup Quarterfinals

America came through in one of the most exciting games in US soccer history. The women defeated Brazil 5-3 on penalty kicks to advance to the Women’s World Cup semifinals.

Striker Abby Wambach scored a thrilling goal Sunday to tie it in the 122nd minute at 2 all. The goal was followed by a great stop from goalkeeper Hope Solo who denied the Brazilians again.

Martin Rose, Getty Images
Martin Rose, Getty Images

Before Wambach’s tying goal on virtually the last moment of extra time, Australian referee Jacqui Melksham was almost the focal point of the game. Midway in the second half, Melksham called an extremely controversial penalty when Rachel Buehler tangled with Brazil’s Marta. Buehler hasn’t been all that assured this tournament, yet it appeared to be a 50-50 challenge in the penalty box. Melksham pointed to the spot before removing Buehler.

The U.S. made its first three penalty kicks, and Brazilians Cristiane and Marta easily matched them. But then it was Daiane’s turn, the same Daiane who’d given the U.S. a 1-0 lead with a goal in the second minute of the match. She tried to go near post, but Solo batted it away.

The U.S. still had two more to make, but Megan Rapinoe and Ali Krieger converted theirs, sending the American team racing onto the field in celebration.

The ladies will now face the French this Wednesday in the semifinals.

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