x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

US beat Brazilians on penalties to last-four spot at World Cup

The two-time winners will now face France while Sweden will play Japan after their 3-1 win over Australia on Sunday.

Abby Wambach, right, scored an equalising goal for the US in Dresden last night.
Abby Wambach, right, scored an equalising goal for the US in Dresden last night.

The US beat Brazil 5-3 on penalties to advance to the semi-finals of the women's World Cup late last night after the match finished 2-2 after extra time.

Alex Krieger, the defender, hit the winning penalty after Hope Solo, the US goalkeeper, saved a spot kick from Brazil's Daiane to give her side the advantage.

The US, two-time winners of the World Cup, will go on to face France in Moenchengladbach in Wednesday's semi-final for a place in next Sunday's final in Frankfurt.

Meanwhile, Lotta Schelin scored one goal and set up another as Sweden beat Australia 3-1 to reach the semi-finals and set up a match against Japan.

"There is a fantastic atmosphere in our team and we pulled each other through," said Schelin, the player of the game.

"Unfortunately, we made too many simple mistakes," the Australia coach, Tom Sermanni, said. "After their last goal it was extremely difficult."

The result means Sweden also qualifies for the London Olympics next year. Japan, who upset hosts Germany on Saturday and will play Sweden on Wednesday.

"Now we have to concentrate on winning against Japan. We don't have very good memories of playing against them," Thomas Dennerby, the Sweden coach, said. "Our players will work hard to go one step further."

Hope Powell conceded her time as England coach may have come to an end after her side's heartbreaking World Cup exit.

Penalties again proved to be England's downfall on the big stage, with Powell's side losing to France at the quarter-final stage after a 1-1 draw in normal and extra time.

Powell, who has had 13 years at the helm, is not planning on turning her back on the game, though, and would be open to taking on a more widespread role within the English Football Association.

"If the opportunity presented itself, yes, undoubtedly," she said.

"If I'm honest, I think within the FA we're looking at something that will come to fruition."