Thursday, September 27, 2007

ATH: Not exactly world-class

USA 0 - Brazil 4
09/27/2007 10:13 AM

HANGZHOU, China (Sep 26, 2007) -- The United States' campaign for their third FIFA Women's World Cup title ended Thursday, as they fell, 0-4, to a strong Brazil side, ending their 51-game unbeaten streak.

"For Brazil, this was a perfect win tonight and I congratulate my players not only for their performance but for their strong desire to win," said Brazil head coach Jorge Barcellos. "You could see that desire in their aggressive play. For me, it is always more important to win the match than to play beautiful football."

Leslie Osborne's own-goal opened the scoring in the 20th minute, after attempting to clear a corner in front of goal and sending it straight in. Seven minutes later, Marta beat Briana Scurry from the top of the box after taking on four US defenders, giving Brazil a 2-0 halftime lead and a man advantage after Shannon Boxx was red-carded for her second foul at the end of the first half.

The Boxx send off was key for US coach Greg Ryan: " First I want to congratulate Brazil, who played an absolutely fantastic game tonight. I also want to say that I am very proud of my own girls, who don't forget had gone 51 games unbeaten going into this match. Shannon Boxx getting sent off so early completely changed the game. Yes, Brazil looked great, but we had to chase them round the park for the whole second half with ten players."

In the second half, the USA had no answer for reigning FIFA Women's Player of the Year, Marta, who scored two goals on the night. with Ryan subbing defensively a man down, the United States never got the spark needed to start their offense. Brazil dominated possession and quality chances, missing several opportunities to add to the scoreline.

"It was a very difficult game but we produced, I think, a perfect performance," Marta said. "We are creating history by making the final and that is not down to me, it is down to a great performance by our team. To be the best player in them all has always been my target, that is why I work so hard on and off the field. But without my team-mates I am nothing."

Brazil advances to their first-ever Women's World Cup Final, where they will face Germany on Sunday in Shanghai. The U.S. will play Norway in the Third Place Match on Sunday at 5 p.m. local, 4:55 a.m. ET on ESPN2.

-- GAME REPORT --

Match-up: USA vs. Brazil
Competition: 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup – Semifinals
Venue: Dragon Stadium – Hangzhou, China
Date: Sept. 26, 2007; Kickoff – 8:00 pm local / 8 a.m. ET
Attendance: 47,818
Weather: Hot, Humid
Scoring Summary:
1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
BRA 2 2 4

BRA – Own Goal 20th minute
BRA – Marta 27.
BRA – Cristiane 57.
BRA – Marta 79.

Lineups:
USA: 1-Briana Scurry; 4-Cat Whitehill, 3-Christie Rampone, 15-Kate Markgraf (2-Marian Dalmy, 74); 17-Lori Chalupny, 7-Shannon Boxx, 12-Leslie Osborne, 14-Stephanie Lopez (11-Carli Lloyd, 46); 9-Heather O’Reilly (8-Tina Ellertson, 60), 13-Kristine Lilly – Capt, 20-Abby Wambach.

Subs not used: 18-Hope Solo, 2-Marian Dalmy, 10-Aly Wagner, 12-Leslie Osborne, 16-Angela Hucles, 19-Marci Jobson, 21-Nicole Barnhart.
Head Coach: Greg Ryan

BRA 1-Andreia; 2-Elaine, 3-Aline, 4-Tania, 5-Renata, 7-Daniela, 8-Formiga, 9-Maycon, 10-Marta, 11-Cristiane, 20-Ester

Subs not used: 6-Rosana, 12-Barbara, 13-Monica, 14-Grazielle, 15-Kaija,16-Simone, 17-Daiane, 18-Pretinha, 19-Michele, 21-Thais
Head Coach: Jorge Barcellos

Statistical Summary:
USA / BRA
Shots: 10/19
Shots on Goal: 4/8
Saves: 4/4
Corner Kicks: 2/4
Fouls: 16/15
Offside: 0/0

Misconduct Summary:
USA - Shannon Boxx (caution) 14th minute
USA - Lori Chalupny (caution) 26.
BRA - Aline (caution) 28.
BRA - Renata (caution) 44.
USA - Shannon Boxx (caution) 45+
USA - Shannon Boxx (sent off) 45+
USA - Abby Wambach (caution) 49.

Officials:
Referee: Nicole PETIGNAT (SUI)
Asst. Referee: Corinne LAGRANGE (FRA)
Asst. Referee: Karine VIVES SOLANA (FRA)
Fourth Official: Tammy Ogston (AUS)

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