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Sissi saves Brazil with overtime goal, snuffing Nigerian rally 4-3.

By Robert Wagman

LANDOVER, Md. (Thursday, July 1, 1999) -- Sissi scored her tournament leading seventh goal 14 minutes into sudden death as Brazil thwarted a fierce Nigerian comeback 4-3 in the second game of a Women’s World Cup quarterfinal doubleheader witnessed by 54,462 at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium tonight.

Brazil, which received two goals from Cidinha, will play the United States, a 3-2 winner over Germany in the opener, in a Sunday semifinal at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, Calif.

All four teams in tonight’s twinbill qualified for the eight-nation 2000 Summer Olympics tournament in Australia. Nigeria became the only African team to make the Olympics.

A minute after Nigerian reserve keeper Judith Chime made a diving save to deny Pretinha on a breakaway, she permitted the game-winner on a weak effort. Sissi, who earlier had two assists, let fly a high, soft free kick from 25 yards and Chime had it bounce off her hands into the short side of the net.

In the 86th minute Nigeria's Patience Avre had been shown her second yellow card and was ejected.That did not deter Nigeria’s attacking mentality, though extra player increasingly became an advantage for the Brazilians as fatigue became a factor.

This was a match marked by speed, wide-open and rough play, and some very questionable goalkeeping.

The first half was one that Nigeria's flamboyant diminutive goalkeeper Ann Chiejine would just as soon forget. She was beaten by Brazil's Cidinha in the fourth minute, and then gave up a soft rebound, which Cidinha converted in the 22nd minute for a 2-0 lead.

Finally, in the 35th minute, Brazilian defender Nene launched a towering chip from 35 yards that Chiejine simply could not reach as it settled softly under the crossbar to make the score 3-0.

It seemed Nigeria was out of the match, but the Super Falcons came out and played at a furious pace in the second half. Brazil was back on its heels through much of the half as Nigeria launched attack after attack. Unassisted goals by Prisca Emeafu, Nkiru Okosieme and Nkechi Egbe in the 63d, 72d and 85th minutes, respectively, drew Nigeria level.

Nigeria "captured the momentum. They scored once and than again and were back in the match." said Brazil’s relieved coach Wilson De Oliveira Rica, adding his team came out in the second half too relaxed and not ready to play.

He said he told his team going into the overtime to get back to making short passes "and to play more technically. We were simply knocking the ball into the air and that was playing into Nigeria's hands. They had as much, if not more speed than we did. Now we have to prepare for the U.S."

Brazil probably would have won in regulation if, in the 65th minute, Pretinha’s apparent goal had not been disallowed. Pretinha chipped the ball over Chime. Defender Eberechi Opara attempted to clear the ball off the line, referee Virginia Tovar Diaz made no signal, and play continued. Replays showed the ball had crossed the goalline.

Brazil 4, Nigeria 3 (OT)

Brazil 4 (OT)
Nigeria 3
Brazil - Cidinha (1) (Raquel) 4;
Brazil - Cidinha (2) (Sissi) 22;
Brazil - Nene (1) (Sissi) 35;
Nigeria - Emeafu (1) (unassisted) 63;
Nigeria - Okosieme (3) (unassisted) 72;
Nigeria - Egbe (1) (unassisted) 85;
Brazil - Sissi (7) (unassisted) 104.

Lineups: Brazil - Maravilha, Nene, Elane, Suzana , Tania, Cidinha, Raquel (Maicon 66), Formiga, Sissi, Suzana, Pretinha; Nigeria - Ann Chiejine (Judith Chime 39), Yinka Kudaisa (Adanna Nwadike 77), Ebrechi Opara, Prisca Emeafu, Nkiru Okosieme, Florence Omagbemi, Ifeanyichukwu Chiejene (Kikelomo Ajayi 26), Nkechi Egbe, Rita Nwadike, Patience Avre, Mercy Akide.

Shots: Brazil 20, Nigeria 17. Shots on goal: Brazil 10, Nigeria 11. Saves: Brazil 8, Nigeria 4. Corner kicks: Brazil 4, Nigeria 6. Fouls: Brazil 9, Nigeria 22. Offside: Brazil 5, Nigeria 2. Yellow card caution: Brazil - Suzana 81; Nigeria - Nwadike 12, Omagbemi 28, Avre 41, Nwaneri 103. Red card ejection: Nigeri - Avre (second yellow card) 86.

Referee: Virginia Tovar Diaz (Mexico). Assistant referees: Maria Rodriguez (Mexico), Jackeline Saez (Panama). Attendance: 54,642 at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium, in Landover, Md. Weather: Clear, humid, 79 degrees.

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