FanDuel - WFBC

July 10, 2011

Last-Second Goal Helps US Beat Brazil: Playing with 10 and seconds from a 2-1 loss, the U.S. tied the game against Brazil on an Abby Wambach header in the 122nd minute and went on to beat them 5-3 on penalties. Wambach's goal was set up by a terrific long-distance cross by Megan Rapinoe. The Americans advance to the semis of the women's World Cup and will meet France on Wednesday.

posted by rcade to soccer at 03:18 PM - 29 comments

I can't believe that just happened.

posted by rcade at 03:29 PM on July 10

That was absolutely one of the most unbelievable sporting events I have ever seen.

That match never felt like it was decided despite all odds. Heroically and poetically scripted, it was.

I may no longer be able to watch my beloved "One Eyed Jacks" with Brando. It is now going to fall short in comparison to reality.

I wish I could take a piece of this moment and give it to the 1972 USA Olympic basketball team.

posted by beaverboard at 03:38 PM on July 10

I expected the U.S. to fall apart after the red card and Hope Solo's penalty kick stop was disallowed on a ticky-tack encroachment call. But they showed amazing resilience.

posted by rcade at 03:41 PM on July 10

Simply incredible!

Did anyone else notice that after getting busted for jumping off of her line early on the first shot of the shootout, the Brazilian goalkeeper proceeded to do it again on every subsequent shot? it just didn't matter since they all went in.

posted by bender at 04:06 PM on July 10

Yeah, what a game. So much stuff went on, where to even begin?

I'll just add that the US team are apparently a bunch of ice cold assassins when it comes to PKs. They nailed every one. Add the fact that Hope Solo is an incredible keeper and I don't think you'll be seeing any future opponents trying to play for for a draw in hopes of winning on penalties.

posted by mcmile at 04:12 PM on July 10

I also can't believe that the US got the equalizer, but it was not off of one of the many corner kicks they earned in the second half and extra time. After they went down a man, they really rallied to find ways to create scoring chances.

posted by bender at 05:18 PM on July 10

I can't believe I didn't watch what could turn out to be the best sports moment of the year.

ON EDIT: Ah, it was on ESPN, that's why I didn't see it on any of the ones of channels that I get over the air these days.

posted by NoMich at 05:28 PM on July 10

Aweome, awesome effort and the women showed great mettle. But let's not forget neither Brazil goal should have been on the board if not for a ref just as bad as USWNT were good.

posted by billsaysthis at 05:38 PM on July 10

I watched until Brazil scored in extra time, then turned on the Red Sox while muttering imprecations and oaths about FIFA incompetence and bias. I later flipped on the "scorecard" feature that DirecTV has, and was astonished at the result. I couldn't believe it had gone to penalties, let alone the dramatic nature of the goal that got it there. Technically wonderful women's soccer might not be, but it is certainly not lacking in drama and controversy.

posted by Howard_T at 07:03 PM on July 10

Ah, it was on ESPN, that's why I didn't see it on any of the ones of channels that I get over the air these days.

Even then, US coverage of the women's World Cup is better than pretty much all the other participants. If you were in the UK, you'd have had to watch it on Eurosport; the BBC only showed the England vs. France quarter-final live on terrestrial television after widespread public demand.

Fantastic finish. The US weren't the best team coming in to the tournament, and they're not the best team left in it, but they've got the spirit to lift the trophy at the end.

posted by etagloh at 07:03 PM on July 10

Rethinking the match, Solo's save of the first PK after the red card was given was a key moment to set the stage for what came after, even though the save was disallowed.

Looking at the Brazil side after Marta scored on the retaken PK, they didn't look and act like a team that had just equalized. There was no pride or ecstasy in them.

On the other side, the crucible of outrage at the injustice and incompetence of the officiating is where the US forged some of the resolve it needed to carry on with 10 players. Solo's initial PK save lingered on as a "we can do this" message.

For all those viewers who bought into Ian Darke's gathering gloom and doom commentary late into extra time with the US down 2-1 and switched away from the match with the clock running out, joy and disbelief counseling will be made available in various locations throughout the US.

posted by beaverboard at 08:32 PM on July 10

Ian Darke's gathering gloom and doom commentary

There's where the cultural divide kicks in: since Darke owes his job on ESPN to this, I've always heard in his commentary a certain willingness to look on the bright side for all things Team USA. Not that that's a bad thing; he deserves a bonus for coping with Foudy at his side.

The first goal in extra time is generally considered decisive, especially so against a reduced-strength side -- though when Marta put in hers, I did glance at the clock and think "well, at least it's come early." (I just looked up the stats for extra time in past men's and women's World Cups, and while there are a few multi-goal thrillers, the single decisive goal is the most common outcome.)

posted by etagloh at 08:50 PM on July 10

Fantastic match. So glad I watched the entire thing. It would have been really upsetting if USA would have lost after Brazil scoring the way they did. The officiating was poor, and offsides should have been called before Brazil's second goal. The first goal on the penalty/penalty kick mess was just a shame. Glad it didn't wind up mattering.

posted by dyams at 08:53 PM on July 10

Looking at the Brazil side after Marta scored on the retaken PK, they didn't look and act like a team that had just equalized. There was no pride or ecstasy in them.

I noticed this, too. I decided that it was a reflection of a team that knew they got away with one and didn't want to dwell on it--almost like they were ashamed of scoring that way. Of course, Marta still got booed mercilessly for the rest of the match anyway.

posted by bender at 09:03 PM on July 10

I thought it was a pretty poorly played match on both sides. That final score by USA was awfully pretty though

posted by bobfoot at 12:13 AM on July 11

The big blue crew did a decent job of making me believe the penalty retake was warranted by showing a US player had encroached into the penalty area before Julianna (I think) took the first one and mentioned Solo probably got the card for arguing it instead of moving off her line. That being said, the play on the ball which won the penalty in the first place was shoulder to shoulder between Buehler and Marta and they both lunged at the ball on their own. It didn't even appear to be a foul of any kind.

I also felt a little fortunate to keep Carly Lloyd on the pitch after her handball. I was a little surprised when Lauren Cheney was subbed. She's been the US's best player and I would've probably gotten Lloyd out. I was worried from that handball on that she was going to commit a bad foul and leave the ref no choice but to put us down to 9.

posted by Ricardo at 09:45 AM on July 11

The highlights for anyone who missed the match.

posted by kokaku at 10:10 AM on July 11

Thank kokaku. I'll check it out when I get home from work.

posted by NoMich at 11:05 AM on July 11

That was a very exciting way to end that game. USA kept attacking even though they were down one and they pulled it out. Amazing.

posted by insomnyuk at 11:39 AM on July 11

Ricardo,

FIFA eventually explained the retake had to happen because Solo "moved" before the kick-which from what I hear is totally false (I'll have to watch it again). Seems to me that FIFA was grasping for straws again to make sense of another poor call. The commentators were right in saying something to the effect that "technically it was encroachment by the letter of the law, but that is never called that tightly." So to me either way it was probably a very poor call, but as others here have pointed out, from a psychological perspective maybe it was the best thing that could have happened.

posted by brainofdtrain at 12:00 PM on July 11

Nice take on the game and Brazil's poor sportsmanship.

"With the cumbersome Wambach trundling round like a siege tower, the Brazilians were more than able to snuff out any threat and began to control the game. ..."

posted by rcade at 12:20 PM on July 11

I didn't think Brazil showed poor sportsmanship past the Erika incident. I think they played the way any other team would've played. The crowd probably wanted to boo the terrible refereeing but that isn't as easy as picking out a villain from one of the players. I believe that wrongly fell on Marta. I just couldn't figure out why the crowd was whistling on her every touch aside from the fact she took the second penalty. None of that fiasco was Brazil's fault. I don't think she dove trying to get to the end of the absolutely beautiful flick over two defenders. She just lunged at it trying to get her foot to it and so did Buehler.

I am so happy the US made it through, but Marta deserved better than to be vilified the way she was.

And brainofdtrain, if FIFA's stance is that Hope Solo moved (she did, but laterally and within the rules), it is a stunning statement. I can't say the referee was biased and overall she got many decisions correct. It's just that what she missed were huge calls, the penalty call and red card, the re-take, the Carly Lloyd handball and the offside on Brazil's second goal. The offside is excusable as those are missed every game by the best of referees/linesmen.

posted by Ricardo at 01:30 PM on July 11

I managed to watch the replay on ESPN2 last night this morning. It's one of the only joys of being old and retired - you can stay up late with few consequences. One can argue with the red card on Buehler and the offside before Marta's goal in OT, but those were tight calls made (or not made) in the heat of the moment, and as such have to be respected, if not liked. The call for a retry on the penalty was completely unjustified, and seems to have been prompted by a desire to eliminate the US at all costs. FIFA's explanation of an illegal move by Solo lends credence to the theory that "the fix was in". There was indeed encroachment by a US player, but it was so slight and had so little bearing upon the play that it should have been overlooked, and according to FIFA was overlooked.

I really think that Brazil managed to cook its own goose in this one. Their antics as the OT wore on seemed to sway the crowd against them. The referee appeared to recognize them for what they were, and refused to call the "chippy" penalties. Finally, Erika's try for the best faked injury not only showed the Brazilians up for what they were trying to do but also allowed the amount of extra time to be added that gave the US the time they needed. Maybe there is something in the US psyche that brings out the best against long odds. Think Grant at Shiloh, Meade at Gettysburg, and the US hanging on at Guadalcanal after the disastrous naval defeat at Savo Island. OK, a football match is not all that earth shattering, but I think you understand my analogy.

posted by Howard_T at 02:43 PM on July 11

Meade at Gettysburg

More troops and an excellent defensive position doesn't make for a very good underdog story. Also, since it's a civil war, both sides are technically American.

posted by tron7 at 02:58 PM on July 11

I didn't think Brazil showed poor sportsmanship past the Erika incident.

Yeah, I didn't really see it. I think that's a case of framing on the part of ESPN really.

posted by yerfatma at 03:10 PM on July 11

I think that's a case of framing on the part of ESPN really.

Yeah, had it been the other way around, you might not have seen the Lazarus act from the stretcher, but you'd have heard a certain amount of special pleading on the part of the US.

On goalkeeper encroachment at penalties: I much prefer to go with cock-up over conspiracy. Chances are that FIFA issued a directive to officials as the tournament headed into the knockout rounds, the referee panicked, and FIFA is backing her up to save face. (The replay tells its own story. Ridiculous decision.) Similar things have happened in other tournaments for tackles from behind or clear-run-on-goal fouls.

posted by etagloh at 04:29 PM on July 11

There was indeed encroachment by a US player, but it was so slight and had so little bearing upon the play that it should have been overlooked, and according to FIFA was overlooked.

While it's true that the referee was somewhat inconsistent (and can someone link FIFA's explanation if they've given one? I haven't seen it anywhere), encroachment is a big deal. There's even a special mark on the field in order to ward against it. The American player was clearly encroaching, therefore the referee was correct to order a retake. If the reason given was that Solo moved off her line, that's obviously nonsense, but the retake was still the correct decision. This wasn't USA-Slovenia all over again.

You're right that defensive encroachment is frequently overlooked, but that's because most penalties are scored. In the event of a defensive encroachment where the penalty is scored, the goal is allowed to stand, as a form of playing advantage. That's why this happened: Did anyone else notice that after getting busted for jumping off of her line early on the first shot of the shootout, the Brazilian goalkeeper proceeded to do it again on every subsequent shot? it just didn't matter since they all went in.

The Brazil keeper encroached to save the first kick, hence retake. The Brazil keeper encroached on all the subsequent kicks, but because they were scored, advantage was played. The referee was actually very consistent here and in line with FIFA procedure (Law 14, pg. 44 of the Laws of the Game 2011/2012). She was absolutely correct. The way she's being vilified right now is pretty absurd.

If you want to argue that "slight" infringements should be overlooked, then I submit that the extremely marginal offside for Brazil's second goal should be overlooked as well. Frankly, I prefer it when benefit of the doubt is awarded to the attacker in a potential offside infraction; it rewards attacking intent.

It should never have been a penalty in the first place, mind you, the referee got that one wrong, and the Lloyd handball goes without saying. I don't think she got as much wrong as apparently the rest of the nation does, though, and I have to give her credit for carding Erika for simulation when she came back on. That's an excellent precedent that I hope more referees will emulate in these situations.

Also, the US women's team came into the World Cup ranked number 1 in the world, with one of if not the best women's professional league behind it. The notion that they are underdogs at any point in this tournament is a little odd, as is the notion that a fix would be in against them.

posted by Errant at 03:40 PM on July 13

The Brazil keeper encroached to save the first kick, hence retake. The Brazil keeper encroached on all the subsequent kicks, but because they were scored, advantage was played. The referee was actually very consistent here and in line with FIFA procedure (Law 14, pg. 44 of the Laws of the Game 2011/2012). She was absolutely correct. The way she's being vilified right now is pretty absurd.

Yo! My comment that you were responding to had nothing to do with the referee. The goalkeeper got busted for jumping off the line early, but rather than stopping, she continued to do it for the rest of the shootout. Part of me was hoping that she would save another one so that it would be disallowed again.

posted by bender at 08:44 PM on July 13

Yo! My comment that you were responding to had nothing to do with the referee.

Sorry I was unclear. I wasn't responding to your comment so much as using your comment to say "this is what happened" and then "here is why this happened". Based on precedent, it seems exceedingly likely that if the Brazil goalkeeper had saved another one, she would have been busted again. I agree that under the circumstances it was pretty stupid of her to keep doing it.

posted by Errant at 04:50 PM on July 18

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.