Women's World Cup: U.S., Brazil tied 1-1, going into overtime
The U.S., reduced to 10 players by the controversial expulsion of defender Rachel Buehler, and Brazil are tied at 1-1 and heading into 30 minutes of overtime in their Women's World Cup quarterfinal match in Dresden, Germany.
The American team took the lead early on, but Brazil tied the contentious and foul-marred match in the second half with a penalty kick by their star player, Marta.
The U.S. easily could have lost a player six minutes into the second half when midfielder Carli Lloyd, who had picked up a yellow card for a foul in the first half, handled the ball at midfield. Despite Brazilian appeals, however, the referee did not eject Lloyd.
It was a nerve-jangling half for both teams, with the U.S. realizing that giving up a tying goal would swing momentum the South Americans' way and Brazil knowing that a second goal for the Americans would effectively put an end to their World Cup.
Lloyd, who scored the gold-medal-winning overtime goal against Brazil in the 2008 Beijing Olympics final, almost scored in the 63rd minute when she directed a header slightly high and against the crossbar. Seconds later, the Brazilians tied it up.
An apparent foul by Buehler on Marta as both went for the ball led to Buehler's dismissal and a penalty kick. Cristiane took the shot and saw it saved by U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo, only for Solo to be yellow-carded and the kick ordered retaken. Replays indicated encroachment by a U.S. player into the penalty box, making it a correct call by the referee.
This time, Marta stepped up and scored to level matters at 1-1 with 22 minutes of regulation to play while the Dresden crowd voiced its displeasure with the officiating crew.
-- Grahame L. Jones
Photo: U.S. defender Rachel Buehler collides with Brazilian forward Marta in the penalty box on a key play in the second half Sunday. Buehler was called for a foul and given a red card, leading to a Brazil penalty kick and goal. Credit: Petr David Josek / Associated Press