Football: Sissi sets the gold standard

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The Independent Online
JOY FAWCETT'S 66th-minute header earned the United States a hard- fought 3-2 victory over Germany in Maryland and a place in the women's World Cup semi-finals.

Bill Clinton, the US president, and his family were among a crowd of more than 40,000 at Landover's Cooke Stadium who watched the hosts' quarter- final success - their fourth consecutive victory. The Americans will now face Brazil at Spartan Stadium in San Francisco tomorrow after Brazil's Sissi scored a golden goal direct from a free-kick in the 104th minute to give the South Americans a dramatic 4-3 triumph over Nigeria, who had been three goals down.

Sissi's 22-yard free-kick was the first sudden-death extra-time goal in women's World Cup history and if she continues this form, she just might challenge Mia Hamm for the unofficial title of the world's best women's footballer. "For us, Sissi is the queen of football," Brazil's coach, Wilson de Oliveira, said.

After blowing a 3-0 half-time lead, Brazil advanced when Sissi's shot found the corner of the net for her seventh goal of the tournament. "Certainly this is an extremely special goal," Sissi said, "one that is going to be remembered for the rest of my life."