DRESDEN, Germany — The Women’s World Cup quarterfinal between the United States and Brazil on Sunday took enough twists and turns to fill an entire tournament. If an early own goal, a controversial ejection and a retaken penalty kick weren’t enough, there was a go-ahead strike in extra time by Marta, the Brazilian superstar, and a last-ditch equalizer by Abby Wambach, the Americans’ bruising forward.
Solo made a diving save in the third round of a penalty kick tiebreaker and Krieger, a Dumfries native, capped a flawless performance by the Americans in the shootout by tucking her attempt into the lower left corner for a 5-3 advantage and the win. That followed a 2-2 draw through 120 minutes of regulation and overtime.
The victory avenged a 4-0 loss to Brazil in the 2007 Women’s World Cup semifinals in China and came exactly 12 years after the United States prevailed in a tiebreaker against China to win the championship.
With their latest triumph, the Americans advanced to face France, a first-time semifinalist, on Wednesday in Moenchengladbach.
The other semifinal, scheduled for the same day in Frankfurt, pits Japan, which ousted two-time defending champion Germany on Saturday, against Sweden, a 3-1 winner over Australia earlier Sunday.
The Americans haven’t won the world title since 1999 and appeared in jeopardy of falling short again by finishing second in group play behind Sweden and falling behind previously unbeaten Brazil in the extra period.
“I’m at a loss and I literally cannot believe what just happened,” Wambach said. “But we’ve got two games left.
“The history of the team has always been we never give up,” she added.
The Americans went ahead 74 seconds into the match on an own goal — the first blemish against Brazil in the 16-team tournament. Shannon Boxx crossed the ball to the six-yard box, where Brazilian defender Daiane deflected it into her own net.
But midway through the second half, Brazil pulled even on a chaotic sequence. Australian referee Jacqui Melksham red-carded U.S. defender Rachel Buehler for taking down Marta in the box. That resulted in a penalty kick and left the Americans short-handed for the remainder of the match.
Solo stopped Cristiane’s attempt, but while the goalkeeper celebrated with teammates, Melksham ordered the kick taken again.
At the time, it was assumed that Melksham ruled Solo had stepped forward before the ball was struck — a violation — but TV replays showed a U.S. player entering the penalty area too early.
Marta took the second attempt and converted easily, tying the score at 1.
A five-time FIFA player of the year, Marta struck again two minutes into extra time, lifting the ball over Solo from a difficult angle. While the play was unfolding, Boxx turned for an instant to plead for an offside call. Marta gained just enough separation to connect with the cross and put Brazil ahead.
“Sometimes we play better when we’re down,” Solo said. “We never like things easy.”