Just over a minute into Sunday's Women's World Cup quarterfinal matchup, a costly mistake gave the USA the early advantage, putting Brazil on its heels. Shannon Boxx sent a cross in from the wing, only to see it deflected by Brazilian defender Daiane, giving the USA a 1-0 lead. The early lead gave the United States a cushion, though it's almost as if the American side is content to sit on their lead and defend.
Brazil looked like a dangerous squad over the course of the rest of the half, challenging US keeper Hope Solo with regularity. Solo held form, however, preserving a clean sheet with a few acrobatic saves and a bit of luck. Brazil hit the crossbar, the side netting and kept Solo on her toes with attacks, but was unable to find the back of the net.
Both back lines have been shaky, with the Americans having trouble with communication at multiples times in the first half, leading to dangerous Brazilian chances. Brazil's slip-up, however, was much more costly, leading to an own goal that gave the United States the lead. With the way both defenses are playing, it wouldn't be surprising if the second half is explosive.
At the half in Germany, the USA leads Brazil in the 2011 Women's World Cup quarterfinals, 1-0.