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Monday, July 11, 2011
Team USA against all odds

By Stacy Title

Women's World Cup: The U.S. women won their quarterfinal match in glorious fashion Sunday, with a 2-2 victory over Brazil on penalty kicks (5-3) to advance to the semifinals. This game will go down as one of the all-time best, showcasing a U.S. do-or-die mentality that was unfailing and truly moving.

Also unforgettable, the awful officiating that mostly benefitted Brazil:

• 1. A red card call sent Rachel Buehler out of the game, leaving the U.S. a player down for the remaining 25 minutes of regular play -- and then another 30 minutes of extra time.

• 2. As if that wasn't enough, the call netted a penalty kick that U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo saved (awesome!) ... then lost again to a yellow card for encroachment and a retake of that penalty kick. This time, Marta buried it.

• 3. Next, a missed offside call on Brazil led to their second goal (yes, Marta again).

• 4. Up one, Brazil then tried to 'beat the clock' in the last few minutes of overtime, as defender Erika played hurt and was carried off the field on a stretcher -- only to return to the game moments later. In a nifty twist of fate, that "injury" led to three minutes of overtime and the miracle goal from Abby Wambach -- on a perfect cross from Megan Rapinoe -- in the 122nd minute.

More unforgettable-ness: It was the latest goal ever scored in WWC history. Oh yeah and that's not all! In a shocking upset Saturday, tournament titan Germany lost 1-0 to Japan in extra time. And France beat England in another penalty kick nail-biter 4-3.

MLB: Derek Jeter clocked his 3,000th hit (a home run!!) on a sunny Saturday at Yankee Stadium. Not only that: he went 5-for-5 and drove in the winning run. Leave it to the Jeter. He's the man, the first Yankee, (heck, the first from any New York team!) to join the elite 3,000 club. ... Raul Ibanez (six RBIs) John Mayberry (four) and Domonic Brown (two) drove in 12 runs in the Phillies' 14-1 domination of the Braves on Sunday. That's the most RBIs for a Philly starting three in 88 years.

Side note: Alex Rodriguez will have arthroscopic surgery and will likely be out six weeks. Bet those Yankee fans wish they were still watching Jeter-palooza.

NBA: Eight-time All Star Yao Ming is retiring. Injuries plaguing the big man forced him to call it quits. The 7-foot-6 Houston Rocket was the top pick in the 2002 draft and averaged 19 points and 9.2 rebounds. Farewell Yao.