Women's World Cup review

USA stun Brazil, Sweden beat Australia

July 10, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Ten-woman USA beat Brazil on penalties to book their place in the semi-finals of the Women's World Cup after a thrilling game at the Rudolf-Harbig-Stadium ended 2-2 after extra-time.

USA celebrate Ali Kreiger's winning penalty against Brazil
GettyImagesUSA celebrate Ali Kreiger's winning penalty against Brazil

• WWC: France through, holders out

A last-gasp header from USA striker Abby Wambach forced the penalty shoot-out, which the Americans won 5-3, after Brazil had fought back to take the lead through two controversial goals.

Brazilian defender Daiane turned a cross into her own net after just two minutes to give the USA a dream start, but their luck changed in the 65th minute when defender Rachel Buehler was sent-off for a foul on Marta in the area.

Cristiana took the resulting spot-kick but saw her effort saved by USA goalkeeper Hope Solo. However, the referee spotted a dubious infringement and ordered the penalty to be retaken. Marta scored to make it 1-1.

With the scores level after 90 minutes the game went into extra-time and two minutes after the restart Marta scored her second goal of the match with a brilliant left-foot finish. Her team-mate, Maurine, appeared to be offside when she delivered the assist from the left but the goal stood.

USA looked to be heading out of the competition until Wambach popped up at the far post to head the equaliser after Brazil goalkeeper Andreia had failed to deal with a cross and the game went to penalties.

The only failure in the shoot-out was Brazil defender Daiane who saw her effort saved by Solo, allowing Alex Kreiger to score for a famous USA victory.

The Americans will face France, who beat England in a penalty shoot-out on Saturday, in the last four.

Sweden have booked their place in the semi-finals of the Women's World Cup after a 3-1 victory over Australia.

Sweden celebrate victory over Australia and a place in the semi-finals
GettyImagesSweden celebrate victory over Australia and a place in the semi-finals

France through, Germany out

Sweden, dominant throughout much of the match, were 2-0 up early in the first half. Therese Sjogran opened the scoring on 11 minutes after fine work from Lotta Schelin, and five minutes later Sjogran turned provider as she crossed for Lisa Dahlkvist to head home.

Australia finally managed to claw back some hope in the 40th minute courtesy of a sublime goal from Ellyse Perry, firing into the top corner following a short corner.

Sweden, though, re-established their two-goal lead early in the second half after a slack back-pass from Kim Carroll gifted the excellent Schelin a gilt-edged chance. She made no mistake, taking the ball around goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri before slotting home.

Sweden will now meet Japan for a place in the final.