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U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

December 14, 2014
MARTA 3, USA 2
Brazil star leads the way


Megan Rapinoe's goal gave the US a 2-0 lead over Brazil on Sunday, but Marta responded with a natural hat trick.
Megan Rapinoe's goal gave the US a 2-0 lead over Brazil on Sunday, but Marta responded with a natural hat trick.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BRASILIA, Brazil – Despite taking an early two-goal lead, the U.S. Women’s National Team lost 3-2 to Marta and Brazil in the USA’s second match of the 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia. Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe scored for the USA but Brazilian ace Marta replied with a hat trick for the hosts.

Brazil sits atop the tournament table with six points, followed by China, which beat Argentina 6-0 earlier in the day, with four. The USA is third with one point and faces last-place Argentina on Wednesday on the final day of round-robin play. The top two teams at the end of group play will meet for the championship while the third- and fourth-place teams will meet for third place. Both placement games will be on Dec. 21. The USA can still reach the championship match, but it must hope that China loses to Brazil and then make up the gap in goal difference; China is currently at plus-6 while the USA is at minus-1.

In sharp contrast to the USA’s opening game against China, this match was a wide open affair that featured end-to-end attacking. Both teams carved out chances that had the crowd of 5,241 at Mané Garrincha Stadium rising to its feet. The Americans had the better of the scoring chances, but Brazil had Marta, who made her three shots on goal count.

The USA hit the woodwork on shots by Rapinoe and second-half sub Christen Press in the final minutes of each half, and were also thwarted on multiple occasions during the second stanza by Brazil goalkeeper Luciana.

Lloyd and Rapinoe gave the USA a 2-0 lead just nine minutes into the game, but Marta's first goal in the 19th brought the score to 2-1, USA, at the half.

Marta tied the score in the 55th minute. Against the run of play, Marta scored a spectacular solo goal. Picking the ball up just inside her own half, the Brazil forward drove toward the top of the USA penalty area. Cutting behind a diverting run from Debinah, Marta touched the ball wide left of the net and angled a hard, low shot back across the face of goal and into the far right hand netting.

Her third, and game-winning goal, came in the 65th minute. Beatriz seized on a USA turnover in its own half and slipped a pass to Marta in the right channel. Marta once again carried through a crowd of players before unleashing a dipping drive from distance that squeezed past Solo at her near right post.ard the right-hand roof of the net, but Luciana got in a strong leaping parry to send the shot over the crossbar.

The USA is now 15-3-4 in 2014, and 25-3-3 all-time against Brazil. This was the first loss under head coach Jill Ellis; the U.S. is 15-1-4 since Ellis took over.
   
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