Sissi comes up golden for Brazil

Nigeria rallies from 3 down but loses in sudden death

July 02, 1999|By Lowell E. Sunderland | Lowell E. Sunderland,SUN STAFF

LANDOVER -- Brazil, having blown a three-goal halftime lead, advanced to a Women's World Cup semifinal July 4 in Palo Alto, Calif., with a set-piece "golden goal" in the 104th minute that put away pesky Nigeria, 4-3, last night.

The tournament's leading scorer, Sissi, won it with her seventh World Cup tally, a 25-yard free kick from outside the box's top-left corner that flicked off the hands of leaping Nigerian goalkeeper Judith Chime. She also set up two other Brazilian goals from her play-making midfield position.

"God blessed me at the time of the free kick," the tiny Brazilian team leader with a buzz-style haircut said of her second tally off a restart in two games.

Said her coach, Wilson de Oliviera Rica, through an interpreter: "During the game, I turned into an old man. But after the game I was young again. For us, Sissi is the queen of soccer."

Brazil took a 3-0 halftime lead and seemed on a cruise into the semifinals in this battle of two offense-minded teams in their first quarterfinals. But the Nigerians, trying as much as anything for an Olympic berth next year, which they achieved despite losing, fought back to tie in the 85th minute on midfielder Nkechi Egbe's goal.

The Super Falcons had gotten on the board in the 63rd minute on a goal by Prisca Emeafu and within reach 12 minutes later on a score by Nkiru Okosieme.

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