Maccbiah Soccer: British women keep their cool to defeat fiery Brazil in Haifa

The game was hotly contested with two of Brazil's players sent off at the Ketzef Stadium in Haifa.

soccer ball 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
soccer ball 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The British women's soccer team defeated Brazil 1-0 in a must win game on Wednesday that kept it in the running for a medal winning position. The game was hotly contested with two of Brazil's players sent off at the Ketzef Stadium in Haifa. The atmosphere was set within three minutes as a Brazilian defender slid in for a bone crunching challenge, receiving a yellow card. Brazil had the majority of the chances in the first half but failed to break a solid British defense, marshalled by centre half, Ellie Bard. The first Brazilian player was sent off before half time for refusing to show her shirt number to the referee following a booking. However, the British team could not make this advantage count and failed to create any goal scoring opportunities. The stalemate continued into the second half until an inspired substitution brought life into the British game. Striker Talia Ben-Harosh immediately began troubling the Brazilian defence, being denied a number of chances only by the linesman's flag. In the 75th minute, Chelsea Berlin, Britain's imposing centre forward broke the deadlock slotting home the winner in a goalmouth scrap following a corner. Tensions rose in the latter stages of the game and a second sending off soon followed with another Brazilian receiving a red card for intentionally stamping on her opponents foot. The Brazilian girls seemed to have had some lessons at drama school as their diving efforts were continually rewarded. British captain, Danielle Bassin, commented that "Brazil could have won Oscars today, but at the end of the day we won and that's what matters." The referee, Lilach Acolim, told The Jerusalem Post that she had been surprised at the intensity of the game. "It was very tough, the girls didn't come to play they came to kill each other, but there was more aggression from Brazil."