Women's World Cup: U.S. Moves onto Semifinals After Gritty 5-3 Win vs. Brazil

Stephen UrbaniakCorrespondent IJuly 10, 2011

DRESDEN, GERMANY - JULY 10: Aline (L) of Brazil and Abby Wambach (R) of USA battle for the ball during the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 Quarter Final match between Brazil and USA at Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion on July 10, 2011 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
Martin Rose/Getty Images

The No. 1 ranked team in Women's soccer, the United States has moved onto the semifinals of the 2011 World Cup in Wolfsburg, Germany, after a hard fought 5-3 win in penalty kicks against Brazil.

The Americans had made it tougher than it really needed to be, as they dropped their last match in Group C to Sweden before the knockout round quarterfinal against an always tough Brazilian team.

The United States took an early 1-0 lead on an own goal by Brazil's Daiane, after a cross by Shannon Boxx was misplayed and deflected into Brazil's goal. 

The U.S. then pretty much slept through the rest of the game, until the last seconds of the extra period when striker Abby Wambach's beautiful header off Megan Rapinoe's deep cross evened the game at 2-2.

The game then was decided by penalty kicks, which the U.S. won 5-3 after ending regulation tied 2-2.

The game was filled with horrible officiating, as the U.S. was robbed of many free-kick opportunities and saw Rachel Buehler sent off with a red card during a questionable exchange with the tournament-worldbeater Brazil's Marta.

The U.S. will meet France in the the semifinal round with the winner moving on to play the winner of the other semifinal between Sweden and Japan for the World Cup championship.