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Seven Goals Tallied in Wild US-Brazil Game

If you can count on one thing from a US-Brazil game, it’s that it won’t be boring. And this seven-goal game, wild from start to finish, was anything but boring.

The game started off in the worst way possible for the US, as Andressinha found herself with all the space in the world on top of the box. She launched a shot from distance that Alyssa Naeher had perfectly covered – until she didn’t. The ball popped off the top of her gloves and over her head to give Brazil the lead. Within two minutes, the US was down off a howler from their keeper.

A few minutes later, an utterly bizarre sequence ensued as a Brazilian player was called for a high kick on Becky Sauerbrunn. However, instead of a penalty, the referee awarded an indirect free kick inside the box but couldn’t seem to get the players lined up as she wanted. After much confusion, the free kick ended without a US shot on target.

In the 18th minute, Sam Mewis received the ball from Megan Rapinoe on top of the 18 and sent in a low, bouncing roller that goalkeeper Barbara couldn’t track through traffic, equalizing for the US.

Brazil thought they’d regained the lead in the 32nd minute, when Naeher bobbled a save and dropped the ball when a Brazilian player ran into her, taking the ball inside the net, but the referee ruled a foul.

Both teams had several chances, as neither defense put on a very impressive showing, but the US was particularly disjointed in the midfield and lacked bite in the attack. They also struggled to string together passes or properly clear the ball, allowing Brazil to capture the majority of the second balls.

Brazil regained the lead in the 63rd minute off a Marta corner kick. Bruna slipped past Kelley O’Hara and made an unmarked run on the far post, flicking it in past a late arriving Naeher.

Bruna’s teammate on the Houston Dash, Andressinha, extended the lead when she found her second in the 78th minute, going direct on a beautiful free kick.

However, Christen Press cut the lead back to one just minutes later. Rapinoe fed Press with a nice through ball, catching the Brazilian backline in transition, and Press was off to the races, turning her defender before beating Barbara at near post.

With five minutes of regulation time to go, plus stoppage, Press returned the favor, switching the point of attack with a fantastic ball to Rapinoe, who was making a run on the left flank. Rapinoe brought it down with a great first touch and beat Barbara at near post again, at a very difficult angle.

It looked to be a draw, which would have given Australia a tournament win despite one more day of play to go, but Julie Ertz had other ideas. In the 89th minute, O’Hara got endline on the right side and cut it back for Sydney Leroux, who dove for it with her head. Barbara got one hand on it, but the ball fell to Ertz, who flicked it in before Barbara could recover.

The US goes on to face Japan on Thursday for the last round of play, while Brazil takes on Australia. Both the US and Australia can still win the tournament.

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