The U.S. WNT surrendered a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 to Brazil in their second match of group play in the International Tournament of Brasilia.
Two first half goals from Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe put the U.S. in the drivers seat before Marta’s hat trick handed Jill Ellis her first loss as coach of the U.S.
The Americans got off to a flying start when Lloyd scored in the sixth minute. Tobin Heath flick-on landed at the feet of Lloyd for the midfielder to score her 58th goal for the red, white, and blue as she shot past Brazilian netminder Luciana.
Rapinoe scored three minutes later to double the Americans’ lead with a beautiful strike. She collected the ball on the right flank, beat a defender, and unleashed a powerful, dipping shot that looped over Luciana into the left corner.
Despite the U.S. leading two goals to nil, the opening ten minutes was an even, back-and-forth affair.
Marta, who has won the FIFA World Player of the Year award five times, cut the lead in half in the 19th minute when she dribbled around a number of U.S. defenders and blasted a shot from 12 yards out past the on-rushing Hope Solo.
The U.S. carried the one goal lead into the half, but Marta showed her class as she scored two second-half goals to give Brazil the win and to send them to the final of the tournament.
The first goal showed why Marta has been considered one of the best players during the last ten years. She brought the ball from within her own half, dribbled past helpless American defenders to the top of the box and shot across goal to the bottom right-hand corner.
Marta’s third goal of the game came after she dribbled through a crowd of American defenders before unleashing a drive from distance that squeaked inside in the post when Solo should have made a routine save.
The U.S. had two shots that hit the woodwork, the second of which came in the dying second from Christen Press, but the U.S. could not find their way past Luciana, who made several great saves to keep Brazil ahead.
“It wasn’t a good start, but we fought hard until the end and got the result that we needed against a very good team,” Marta explained. “I’m glad that I was able to take advantage of the chances that I had.”
The performance will give Marta the edge over opponent Abby Wambach heading into the voting for this year’s FIFA World Player of the Year award.
“It feels good to win a match like this, knowing that I was going against Wambach,” Marta admitted.
The U.S. take on group minnows Argentina needing to win and hope China PR lose to Brazil, all while making up a goal difference of 7 in the process.
Should the U.S. fail to make the final, morale will be low heading into next summer’s World Cup where they will face stiffer competition in Sweden, Australia, and Nigeria.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 0 2
BRA 1 2 3
USA – Carli Lloyd (Tobin Heath) 6th minute
USA – Megan Rapinoe (Abby Wambach) 9
BRA – Marta 19
BRA – Marta 55
BRA – Marta (Beatriz) 65
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 25-Meghan Klingenberg, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 16-Lori Chalupny (11-Ali Krieger, 31); 12-Lauren Holiday (7-Morgan Brian, 65), 10-Carli Lloyd, 20-Abby Wambach; 15-Megan Rapinoe (23-Christen Press, 64), 2-Sydney Leroux (22-Samantha Mewis, 79), 17-Tobin Heath
Subs Not Used: 5-Kelley O’Hara, 6-Whitney Engen, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 13-Alex Morgan, 14-Julie Johnston, 18-Alyssa Naeher, 19-Crystal Dunn
Head Coach: Jill Ellis
BRA: 12-Luciana; 2-Poliana, 3-Bruna (capt.), 4-Tayla, 11- Andressa Alves, 7-Maurine (21-Beatriz, 59), 5-Thaisa, 20-Formiga, 8-Rosana (6-Tamires, 71), 9-Debinha, 10-Marta (17-Andressinha, 88)
Subs Not Used: 1-Andreia Suntaque, 13-Camila, 14-Monica, 15-Erika, 16-Rafaelle, 18-Fernandes, 19-Darlene, 22-Gabi, 23-Barbara
Head Coach: Oswaldo Alvarez
Stats Summary: USA / BRA
Shots: 11 / 10
Shots on Goal: 7 / 4
Saves: 1 / 5
Corner Kicks: 6 / 1
Fouls: 20 / 8
Offside: 3 / 2
USA – Megan Rapinoe (caution) 31st minute
USA – Hope Solo (caution) 41
USA – Abby Wambach (caution) 68
BRA – Tayla (caution) 89