Americans handle Brazil, 2-0

Heinrichs denies claim of `dirty' play in victory

Women's Soccer

Athens 2004

August 15, 2004|By Grahame L. Jones | Grahame L. Jones,LOS ANGELES TIMES

THESSALONIKI, Greece - Brazil coach Rene Simoes accused the United States of playing "dirty" soccer last night in a 2-0 victory that put the Americans in the quarterfinals of the women's Olympic tournament and two Brazilians in the hospital.

The charge was immediately denied by U.S. coach April Heinrichs, whose team was outplayed in the first 45 minutes but got second-half goals on a penalty kick by Mia Hamm and a fine individual effort by Abby Wambach to clinch a place in the final eight.

Wambach did pick up her second yellow card in as many games, however, for a foul on Brazilian midfielder Elaine and will be suspended for the U.S. team's final first-round match, against Australia on Tuesday.

Simoes said two of his players, Kelly and Elaine, were hospitalized as a result of the Americans' physical play and that several others were nursing injuries.

"I think this is a dirty game," he said. "When you play by your elbows and you push players and you do what you did to Marta's ankle and to Monica's ankle and to Formiga's ankle."

Kelly's injury was the most serious. She came into the match in the 72nd minute and collapsed on the field 13 minutes later after suffering what was later diagnosed as a broken right collarbone.

Elaine also was hospitalized briefly after being hit in the midsection in a collision and knocked momentarily unconscious. Elaine was released later last night.

Hamm's goal in the 55th minute came after Wambach had been pushed down by Monica.

Wambach made it 2-0 in the 78th minute, dribbling past two players before firing a shot just inside the right post.

The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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