BRASILIA, Brazil (Dec. 21, 2014) – Playing in steady rain on a saturated pitch, the U.S. Women’s National Team tied Brazil 0-0 in the championship match of the 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia. As Brazil accumulated more points than the USA during the group stage (nine points to the U.S. WNT’s four), Brazil was awarded to the tournament title.
The U.S. finishes runner-up after posting a 1-1-1 record in group play.
The match marked just the second time the USA and Brazil have played to a scoreless draw in their storied history. The previous occasion was on June 27, 2000, in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
In the USA’s final match of 2014, its two best scoring chances came in the second half. The first came off a 59th-minute cross from Tobin Heath on the left wing. She picked out Abby Wambach, who was making a run to the far post, but the pass was just a bit too high and the 5-11 striker sent her header just outside the upper right corner of the goal.
In the 86th minute, a Becky Sauerbrunn header off of a Megan Rapinoe corner kick was saved by Brazil goalkeeper Luciana and Brazil fended off the USA’s late attack to secure the draw.
The USA did put the ball in the net in extra time as Carli Lloyd finished into the lower left corner from close range, but the goal was waved away for offside. After Heather O’Reilly played a cross in from the left side, the ball was headed up in the air by Morgan Brian. Amy Rodriguez was in an offside position on the header, but did not touch the ball, which bounced off a Brazilian defender straight to Lloyd, who slotted home.
Brazil had the better overall possession in the match, but its scoring chances were few. Brazil’s best chance came in the 38th minute off of a Marta corner kick from the right side. Monica, who did not play against the USA in the teams’ previous tournament matchup, rose from eight yards out and headed the ball just wide left of the frame.
U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo was forced to make just one save on a shot from distance, but she was tremendous controlling her penalty area and had several excellent punches during the match.
In the third-place game, China PR and Argentina played to a scoreless draw. With more points in group play, China (1-1-1, 4 points in the group stage) was awarded third place over Argentina (0-3-0, 0 points in group).
Goal Scoring Rundown:
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Hope Solo, 30th minute: Just after Morgan Brian was issued a yellow card for a foul against Andressa Alves, Brazil’s Marta delivered a dangerous free kick toward the penalty spot. Solo confidently read the ball and punched it toward the edge of the box for the USA defense to clear it out of harm’s way.
BRA – Luciana, 60th minute: The USA played the ball from the midfield behind Brazil’s defense in the direction of Tobin Heath, who was in a one-on-one against Brazil goalkeeper Luciana but the net-minder won the foot race, beating Heath by one step to prevent a potential U.S. goal.
USA – Hope Solo, 83rd minute: Brazil’s corner kick was whipped in and Solo punched the ball away. Though Brazil did follow with a volley from the top of the box, it sailed over the goal as the USA continued to maintain its clean sheet.
BRA – Luciana, 86th minute: Off of a Megan Rapinoe corner kick, U.S. center back Becky Sauerbrunn rose for the header at the back host and directed back across toward the center bar. However, Luciana rose up to palm the shot away.
- U.S. WNT captain Christie Rampone earned her 304th-career cap. She is second on the USA’s all-time list behind only Kristine Lilly’s 352 appearances.
- Goalkeeper Hope Solo, the USA’s all-time leader in career shutouts, earned her 78th clean sheet. It was her 11th shutout in 2014.
Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT begins 2015 with a January camp at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California, followed by two matches in in Europe in early February. The USA faces France on Feb. 8 in Lorient, followed by England on Feb. 13 at a venue to be determined.
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram
- The USA wraps up its 2014 schedule with a 16-3-5 record.
- The U.S. is 16-1-5 under head coach Jill Ellis.
- After Alyssa Naeher played in the last match against Argentina, earning her first cap, Hope Solo returned to the goal, anchoring a defense featuring right back Meghan Klingenberg, left back Lori Chalupny and the center back duo of Becky Sauerbrunn and team captain Christie Rampone.
- The starting midfield of the USA’s 4-3-3 included Lauren Holiday, Carli Lloyd and Morgan Brian.
- The front line included Tobin Heath, Abby Wambach and Kelley O’Hara from left to right. O’Hara has played as an outside back for the WNT since 2012, but she returned to forward, a position at which she won the MAC Hermann Trophy at Stanford.
- Three U.S. forwards were unavailable for Sunday’s final. Sydney Leroux served her suspension after receiving a red card late in the second half against Argentina on Thursday. Christen Press returned to the United States because of a death in her family. Alex Morgan is still not cleared to play as she completes her recovery from an ankle injury.
- Outside back Ali Krieger replaced Chalupny in the 55th minute. Chalupny started in three of the tournament’s four games.
- In the 74th minute, Megan Rapinoe entered for O’Hara and Amy Rodriguez replaced Wambach. Rodriguez made her first appearance of the tournament.
- Heather O’Reilly was the USA’s fourth and final sub in the 80th minute as she took over from Heath.
- Lloyd caps off the year as the U.S. WNT’s leader with 15 goals and eight assists. Wambach was second on the team with 14 goals and Rapinoe was second in assists with seven.
- Lloyd and Press tied for the team lead with 23 appearances in the USA’s 24 matches.
- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Brazil
Date: Dec. 21, 2014
Competition: 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia; Final
Venue: Mané Garrincha Stadium; Brasilia, Brazil
Kickoff: 7 p.m. local / 4 p.m. ET
Weather: 72 degrees; Steady rain
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
BRA 0 0 0
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 25-Meghan Klingenberg, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 16-Lori Chalupny (11-Ali Krieger, 56); 7-Morgan Brian, 10-Carli Lloyd, 12-Lauren Holiday; 17-Tobin Heath (9-Heather O’Reilly, 81), 20-Abby Wambach (8-Amy Rodriguez, 74), 5-Kelley O’Hara (15-Megan Rapinoe, 73)
Subs Not Used: 6-Whitney Engen, 13-Alex Morgan, 14-Julie Johnston, 18-Alyssa Naeher, 19-Crystal Dunn, 22-Samantha Mewis
Suspended: 2-Sydney Leroux
Head Coach: Jill Ellis
BRA: 12-Luciana; 2-Poliana, 3-Bruna (capt.), 14-Monica, 11- Andressa Alves (17-Andressinha, 89), 7-Maurine (6-Tamires, 57), 5-Thaisa, 20-Formiga, 8-Rosana (21-Beatriz, 57), 10-Marta, 9-Debinha
Subs Not Used: 1-Andreia Suntaque, 4-Tayla, 13-Camila, 15-Erika, 16-Rafaelle, 18-Fernandes, 19-Darlene, 22-Gabi, 23-Barbara
Head Coach: Oswaldo Alvarez
Stats Summary: USA / BRA
Shots: 4 / 4
Shots on Goal: 1 / 1
Saves: 1 / 1
Corner Kicks: 2 / 6
Fouls: 18 / 9
Offside: 3 / 2
USA – Morgan Brian (caution) 30th minute
USA – Tobin Heath (caution) 51
USA – Abby Wambach (caution) 72
Assistant Referee 1: n/a
Assistant Referee 2: n/a
Fourth Official: n/a
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Morgan Brian