The greatest that is Marta
was evident on Sunday as she single-handedly carried Brazil past the USA, 3-2, at the Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia. The 28-year-old (only!) forward
scored all three goals -- the second after she left four defenders in their tracks on a run that began in the Brazil half -- after the USA had led, 2-0, after nine minutes to hand Jill Ellis
her first defeat as U.S. coach in 20 games. Dec. 14 in Brasilia Brazil 3 USA 2.
Goals: Marta 19, 55, 65; Lloyd 6, Rapinoe 9. Brazil --
Luciana; Poliana, Bruna, Tayla, Andressa Alves, Maurine (Beatriz,
59), Thaisa, Formiga, Rosana (Tamires, 71), Debinha, Marta (Andressinha, 88).USA --
Solo; Chalupny (Krieger, 31), Rampone, Sauerbrunn, Klingenberg;
Holiday (Brian, 65), Lloyd, Wambach; Rapinoe (Press, 64), Leroux (S.Mewis, 79), Heath. Att.:
Thanks to goals by Carli Lloyd
and Megan Rapinoe
off errors by the Brazilian defense, the USA looked to be cruising to its eighth straight win
over Brazil (including the shootout win in the 2011 Women's World Cup quarterfinals) since the 4-0 loss in the semifinals of the 2007 Women's World Cup that cost Greg Ryan
his job, only his second loss in 55 games.
Ellis should not be worried after first defeat, but the result was the second disappointing result for the USA in
Brasilia after a 1-1 tie with China. She made just two changes from the China game. Lori Chalupny
made her first appearance for the USA since October 2009,
playing 31 minutes and then as planned, giving way to Ali Krieger
at right back. Abby Wambach
-- like Marta a finalist
for the 2014 Women's Player of the Year award -- took over for Christen Press
Marta looked to be offside when she pulled a goal back in the 19th
minute, beating off a challenge from Meghan Klingenberg
, but there was no doubt about her tying goal in the 55th minute. She collected the ball on the Brazilian
side of midfield and raced clear to the U.S. penalty area, where four defenders awaited her. She moved to her left and beat keeper Hope Solo
with an angled
left-footed shot to the far post. Ten minutes later, Marta scored the winner with a bouncing shot from 25 yards that Solo could not collect at the near post.
The Brazil-USA match was a
complete contrast to the opening game in which the USA produced few chances against the organized Chinese. The USA could have scored a half dozen goals against Brazil but for the woodwork that stopped
Rapinoe and Press, a second-half sub for Rapinoe, in the final minutes of each half and the play of Brazilian goalkeeper Luciana
The loss dropped
the USA into a tie for third place with Argentina, a 6-0 loser to China on Sunday. The USA will need to beat Argentina and hope it can make up the seven goals it trails China with a Chinese loss to
Brazil in order to avoid playing Argentina a second time in the third place game next Sunday. The first- and second-place teams will play for the title in Brasilia.
Brazil, which opened
with a 4-0 win over Argentina, is in first place. The game was the 13th friendly of the year for Brazil, which won the South American championship to qualify for Canada 2015. Four years ago, Brazil
played just three friendlies all year, all following the South American championship.