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A dozen years later, the drama continues ...

USA's striker Abby Wambach (2nd L) celebrates with

USA's striker Abby Wambach (2nd L) celebrates with her teammates after scoring the 2-2 during the quarter-final match of the FIFA women's football World Cup Brazil vs USA in Dresden, eastern Germany. (July 10, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

It goes down in the record books -- statistically -- as a 2-2 draw. Oh, but it was so much more.

A dozen years to the day after Brandi Chastain's memorable 1999 World Cup-clinching penalty kick, the U.S. did it again. Though it was only the quarterfinals, was this one even more dramatic?

Abby Wambach scored the tying goal in injury time of extra time and the United States converted all five penalty kicks to give the Americans a victory over Brazil and a berth in the semifinals, to be played Wednesday against France. 

Wambach's header in the 122nd minute was a thing of beauty, but the ball served into the box by Megan Rapinoe deserved most the credit. Her perfectly placed ball to the back post from about 35 yards away was a gem. Wambach finished the job and the team rode that momentum into the shootout. 

Shannon Boxx (who got to retake her kick because Brazil goalie Andreia jumped early off her line the first time) and Carli Lloyd scored first for the Americans, while Cristiane and Marta connected for Brazil. Marta, the best player in the world, also scored both Brazil goals -- one on a penalty in the 68th minute and the other just a few minutes into extra time.

After Wambach scored the third penalty kick, U.S. goalie Hope Solo saved the next shot by Daiane, who had the unfortunate distinction of also scoring an own goal just 74 seconds into the game. 

Armed with a lead, Rapinoe scored for the U.S., but Brazil's Francielle answered. And just like Chastain 12 years ago, Ali Krieger placed her game-winner inside the left post to send the U.S. into frenzy. No sports bra on display this time, just pure American elation. 

New York Sports