Most highlights of yesterday's Women's World Cup game between the U.S. and Brazil will focus on the incredible goal scored by the U.S. in the 122nd minute to tie the game in extra time. However, the reality is that the goal never would have happened if it wasn't for a fake injury stunt by one of Brazil's players in one of the most blatant displays of poor sportsmanship that you will ever see.
Brazil had a 2-1 lead over the U.S. in the second extra time period and it was understandable that they wanted to kill time, so Brazil's Erika decides to fake an injury. After the ball is cleared from Brazil's zone at about the 115th minute, with no one near her, Erika drops down and curls up into the fetal position, suddenly suffering from agonizing pain. That leads the referee to blow the whistle and they bring out the stretcher to carry her off the field.
However, what happened next would prove to the world that her injury was a complete fake. Erika is strapped to the stretcher for no more than 20 seconds when, as soon as she is behind the back end line, she unstraps herself from the stretcher and jogs to the Brazil sideline. After another 30 seconds, she is jogging back onto the field, suddenly at full strength as if nothing ever happened.
See it for yourself with the video here:
Erika received a yellow card, but more importantly, her stunt forced the referee to add 3 minutes of extra time to the final overtime period. Without the "injury", the referee likely would have only added one minute. The U.S. scored their tying goal in the 122nd minute and beat Brazil on penalty kicks.
Erika's fake injury clearly backfired on Brazil, so in the end, poetic justice was served. Hopefully this will be a lesson learned for the kids at home.