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Brazil loses another chance to win major title

Brazil loses another chance to win major title

The talented Brazilian women remain without a major title in football.
Brazil again outplayed the United States for much of an Olympic final. And again it lost the gold medal, earning its third consecutive runner-up finish in major tournaments.
Carli Lloyd scored in the sixth minute of extra time on Thursday, giving the U.S. a 1-0 win over Brazil. It was the U.S. team's third gold medal in women's football and its second straight win against the Brazilians at the Olympics.
The Americans won 2-1 at the 2004 Athens Games, also in extra time. And also after being outplayed during most of the match.
Brazil has been a top contender in recent years. After women's football debuted in the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996, Brazil earned two fourth-place finishes before reaching the final in Athens and now in China. It was also runner-up to Germany in last year's World Cup in China.
"It's hard to explain this," Marta said. "I have no idea why we can't win a final. It's something I'm gonna keep asking myself for a long time. You keep asking what you did wrong."
Led by the two-time FIFA Player of the Year, Brazil controlled the pace of the match in front of the 50,000-plus fans at Workers' Stadium, but _ just like four years ago _ it wasn't able to capitalize on its scoring chances.
Marta threatened through out the match, and Cristiane and Renata Costa also came close to getting Brazil on the board several times.
"Brazil kept pressuring and we felt that it was just a matter of time before the ball would go in," Brazil goalkeeper Barbara said.
But the U.S. had a late charge and almost scored three times in the last five minutes of regulation before Lloyd got the winner by firing a left-footed shot from just outside the area.
The U.S. defeated Brazil in Athens with Abby Wambach's header in extra time. The Americans still had veterans Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm and Brandi Chastain then. Ten current Brazilian players were in the Brazilian squad, including seven starters from Thursday's final.
It was Brazil's 23rd defeat to the Americans in 27 matches. The teams drew twice and Brazil won twice.
The U.S. twice beat Brazil 1-0 in warm-up matches last month, but the Brazilians were without Marta and other regular starters who were not released by their European clubs. Wambach broke her leg in one of those matches and missed the Olympics.
The Brazilians had won the first of their rematches this year, beating Germany 4-1 in the semifinals in China. The Germans hadn't allowed a goal in 10 matches. Brazil routed the U.S. 4-0 in the semifinals of the World Cup behind two goals by Marta.
In the Pan American Games last year, the U.S. went down 5-0 in the final using an under-20 squad. Only Striker Lauren Cheney, replacing the injured Abby Wambach in China, was in that American team.
"It's a horrible moment for us right now. I wished I could be here celebrating," Brazil midfielder Daniela said. "But we have to remember that it's another medal for us, it's not all bad."