After a back-and-forth 120 minutes of open play, the USA and Brazil headed to a penalty kick shootout with a berth in the Women's World Cup semifinals on the line. A 120th minute header by Abby Wambach, which came about as late as a goal could come in the game, saved the United States, pushing the match into penalties and putting Hope Solo on the spot. Solo had saved a penalty kick earlier, only to have it called back due to a controversial encroachment call.
Shannon Boxx stepped up to the spot first and had her attempt stopped, though the Brazilian goalie was well off her line, an infraction that was called by the referee. Her second attempt was pure, placed perfectly in the upper-90. Cristiane's shot for Brazil left Solo with no chance, knotting the shootout at a goal apiece.
The second round began with Carlie Lloyd at the spot for the American side, and her penalty was perfect, drilled low and left. Marta, scorer of both Brazilian goals, took the second penalty for Brazil and hammered it low and left, as well, beating Solo for the goal. Solo guessed wrong on the first two kicks, leaving Brazil with easy conversion.
Abby Wambach, the hero of extra time for the USA, drilled her shot high and right to open the next round, giving the Americans three goals in three attempts and placing the pressure back on Brazil. Daiane stepped up for Brazil, tried to go to Solo's right again, but to no avail. This time Solo guess right, punching away the shot to give the US the advantage.
Megan Rapinoe put her shot in to begin the fourth round, and the United States had Brazil on the ropes. Brazil stayed alive on Francielle's penalty, but the American side controlled its own destiny. Ali Kreiger stepped up, buried the shot and the United States had a 5-3 win on penalty kicks.
What a game for the United States, who was a minute from elimination before coming back to win on penalty kicks. Hope Solo is your hero of the game in net, Abby Wambach is the same in the outfield and the USA is through to the semifinals, where it will face France.