HANGZHOU, China (AFP) - Brazil shocked the top-ranked United States 4-0 Thursday in a dazzling display that set up a World Cup final with defending champions Germany.
On a horror night for the Americans at the Hangzhou Dragon Stadium, Leslie Osborne gifted the South Americans the lead with an own goal after 20 minutes and superstar Marta got the second seven minutes later.
Cristiane bagged the third on 56 minutes and in a magical moment 2006 World Player of the Year Marta flicked the ball with the outside of her boot past a defender before drilling home for the fourth with 13 minutes left.
Compounding the US misery, experienced midfielder Shannon Boxx was sent off just before half-time, effectively ending American hopes of getting their hands on the trophy for the third time.
"For me, nothing is impossible in football and that is what I told the girls tonight," said Brazilian coach Jorge Barcellos.
"It was the perfect win. My players wanted it so much. They were aggressive and determined and that made the difference. It was a team effort."
The Samba Girls have been the surprise of the tournament, winning an army of fans with their attractive football, and now face their maiden final in Shanghai on Sunday against a German side that has yet to concede a goal.
The US, whose two-and-a-half year, 51-game unbeaten streak was ended, must now lift for a third-place play-off against Norway following their heaviest ever World Cup defeat.
"We were always chasing," admitted US coach Greg Ryan.
"Brazil played with great skill and it was very difficult for us. Going a goal down and then being reduced to 10 men was always going to make it hard."
In a physical game in front of 47,000 fans, the Americans came out firing with Lori Chalupny forcing Brazilian goalkeeper Andreia into a diving save after just 15 seconds.
Brazil though soon found their feet and were aggrieved after a penalty decision went against them four minutes later.
Cristiane broke from the left and was hacked down by Cat Whitehill in the box but Swiss referee Nicole Petignat saw nothing amiss. Television replays clearly showed a foul.
Undeterred, Brazil got the breakthrough thanks to a comical own goal by Osborne.
Formiga swung in a corner that was destined for the arms of Briana Scurry, chosen ahead of usual goalkeeper Hope Solo, until Osborne darted in front of her to head into the net in a terrible miscommunication.
The Americans were rattled and Marta rammed home the advantage seven minutes later, dribbling into the box to unleash a hard and low drive with her trademark left foot that Scurry should have saved.
The US nerves were jangling and Brazil piled on the pressure, going close several times, and it went from bad to worse when Boxx got her marching orders for a second yellow card.
Brazil swarmed all over the US in the second period with Daniela and Maycon both whistling shots narrowly wide.
It was only a matter of time before the third goal and Cristiane obliged, coolly slotting home after being set free by Formiga.
Marta, who was taunting the Americans, sparked huge cheers with some stunning individual skill to hammer the final nail in the US coffin with the fourth goal on 79 minutes.
The strike was her seventh, making her the tournament's leading scorer, and took her tally to a remarkable 47 in the last 45 matches.
|7||S. Boxx||14' 45+1'|
|Coach: G. Ryan|
for S. Cox 46'
for H. O'Reilly 60'
for K. Markgraf 74'
|Beckenbauer would prefer Germany to play Spain, not Italy|
|Messi retirement highlights implosion of Argentinian football|
|Bravo: I hope Messi continues playing for Argentina|
|Aguero: Messi not the only player considering retirement|
|I think Messi is just upset, Romero says after captain announces retirement|
|Aguero: This is the worst I have seen Messi|
|Messi set to retire from international football|
|Sanchez: This is the best thing to happen to me|
|Martino: Argentina deserved to beat Chile in final|
|Vidal: This Chile generation is to stand|
|Sanchez crowned Copa´s best as champions Chile sweep awards|
|Argentina 0 Chile 0 (aet, 2-4 on penalties): Defending champs sink Messi and Co. again|
|Taylor ready for Belgium test|
|Portland Timbers 3 Houston Dynamo 2: Valeri late show seals win|
|Euro 2016 Diary: Love blossoms in Paris and last orders for Ireland as Hallgrimsson baits England|
|De Bruyne, Belgium target Euro 2016 final|
|Wilmots: Hazard does his talking with his feet|
|Storck enthusiastic about Hungary future|
|My best Belgium performance - Hazard|
|´It took him long enough!´ - Schweinsteiger hails Boateng´s first Germany goal|
|Courtois: Hungary made an error by coming to play|
|No back-three fears for Spain boss Del Bosque|
|Grigg fired by Euro bench duty|
|Davis: Stranger things have happened than O´Neill to Southampton|
|Gunnarsson insists Iceland do not fear England|
|Brilliant Hazard inspires Belgium´s golden boys|
|Student Morata wants to bring down Juventus masters with Spain|
|Hungary 0 Belgium 4: Hazard inspires Wilmots´ men into quarter-finals|
|Conte demands extraordinary Italy to topple Spain|
|Nolito: No contact with Barca or Man City|
|Alves jets into Turin for Juve medical|
|Low: No sleepless nights over Italy or Spain|
|Kozak: Germany had too much quality|
|Fury gets in the spirit with England fans in Nice|
|Draxler shares the plaudits as Germany move through|
|O´Shea not drawn on Ireland future|
|Rami: France were scared of going out|
|Germany 3 Slovakia 0: Spain or Italy await for world champions after comprehensive win|
|Brilliant Boateng gets Germany juggernaut motoring|
|Lagerback hopes England´s attacking struggles will continue|
|Juventus, Napoli and Roma ´all interested in De Sciglio´|
|O´Neill hails coming of age for Ireland´s youngsters|
|England will not disrespect Iceland, says Rooney|
|Deschamps stands firm on team changes|
|Hodgson adamant he is happy with England strikers|
|Evra: We knew it would be difficult|
|Deschamps: We had to dig deep|
|Rooney: Do not question Sterling´s attitude|
|O´Neill: France´s extra rest took its toll|
|France star Payet: It is difficult to stop us|
|Griezmann: Stern words led to second-half fightback|
|Coleman: We felt it was there for us|
|Deschamps defies doubters as France heed call to arms|
|Konko ´in talks´ to join AC Milan|
|Sigurdsson looking forward to dream England clash|
|Cacic: Croatia´s time will come|
|Italy v Spain will be different to Euro 2012 final - Camoranesi|
|France 2 Republic of Ireland 1: Griezmann double rescues hosts|
|Capello: Spain are pure magic|
|Wolfsburg complete Bruma signing|
|Koke: Spain need to bring back ´The Red Fury´|
|Pizzi: Chile can beat Messi and Argentina|
|Schalke swoop for Swiss star Embolo|
|Subotic signals intention to leave Dortmund|
|Howedes eager for France showdown|
|Russia confirm Slutsky resignation|
|Pirlo: Italy out for Spain revenge|
|Vokes consoles McAuley after Wales march on|
|Italy-Spain a battle of world´s best - Llorente|
|Messi one win away from becoming the greatest|
|Play-offs the goal as Baptista settles into life in Orlando|
|Colombia closer to winning titles - Pekerman|
|MLS Review: Kaka scores 100th-minute penalty in thriller, Lampard inspires NYC|
|Portugal ´don´t have a clue how they scored´ – Rakitic|
|Klinsmann: USA should be proud of Copa America display|
|United States 0 Colombia 1: Bacca secures third place at Copa America|
|Corluka: Portugal among worst teams at Euro 2016|
|Sanches happy to be involved as Portugal reach quarters|
|Euro 2016 Diary: Shaqiri rivals Pique for Shakira´s affection, Bale reveals secret weapon|
|Morata: I have nothing to prove to Zidane|
|Di Maria fit for Copa final|
|´You do not always win by playing prettily´ - Santos unconcerned by dour Portugal|
|The best team lost, says disconsolate Cacic|
|Fabianski: Poland must create more for Lewandowski|
|McAuley pride after crushing Wales loss|
|Ronaldo takes one for the team as Portugal emerge from drudgery in Lens|
|Croatia 0 Portugal 1 (aet): Quaresma earns quarter-final berth|
|Hodgson will not beg for FA approval after Euro 2016|
|Emotional Bale glad to share Paris joy with family|
|O´Neill left frustrated by officials following Euro 2016 exit|
|Coleman hails Bale brilliance in Wales win|
|Low relying on Kroos to lead Germany the way|
|Italy v Spain: Thiago denies shirt jinx ahead of Azzurri clash|
|O´Neill: McAuley has been magnificent|
|Szczesny thanks Swiss fans for drink|
|Hector: Slovakia have plenty of quality in attack|
|Morata: Italy defenders have told me to wear a helmet|
|Coleman content with scrappy Wales progression|
|Wales remain and Northern Ireland leave after Paris battle|
|We are free of pressure - Gera|
|´Do I look like I have doubts?´ - Defiant Nawalka defends Lewandowski|
|Wales 1 Northern Ireland 0: McAuley´s woe is Welsh joy|
|No chance Barcelona star Neymar will join Madrid, says his father|
|Witsel happier to face Hungary than Spain|
|Wilmots accepts pressure ahead of Hungary test|
|Slovakia can upset Germany again - Pekarik|
|Shaqiri unhappy with Poland celebrations after Euro 2016 exit|
|Grosicki struggled to watch Poland shootout win|
|Poland need Lewandowski to rediscover ruthless streak|
|Switzerland 1 Poland 1 (aet, 4-5 pens): Xhaka shocker costs Swiss after Shaqiri magic|
|Payet can handle hero status - Deschamps|
|Redmond joins Southampton on five-year deal|
|Sturridge: Sterling unfairly targeted over England performances|
|Wilmots: I want more from smiling De Bruyne|
|Croatia star Perisic unveils latest wacky hairstyle|
|Brazil´s Lucas Lima wants European move|
|Lloris tempers talk of Ireland revenge mission|
|Deschamps refuses to make France ´98 comparisons|
|O´Neill confident Ireland can shock France|
|Chiellini will give Morata a few kicks - Barzagli|
|England v Iceland: Rooney targets early goal|
|Italy´s Candreva ruled out of Spain match|
|Butland ready for pre-season after scan gives goalkeeper all-clear|
|Origi not underestimating Hungary|
|Plans drafted for Old Firm games to be played abroad|
|Boost for Germany as Boateng trains ahead of last 16|
|I never saw Ronaldo look in the mirror! - Ancelotti|
|Fabregas fears Brexit will damage Premier League|
|Roy not keen on Ireland allocation|
|Dyke backs Hodgson for new contract|
|Spain not as aggressive as 2012, claims Ancelotti|
|Ronaldo and Messi need each other – Ancelotti|
|Juve on the same level as Madrid and Barcelona - Dybala|
|Fabregas: Conte´s Italy will be tough|
|Argentina v Chile: New year, same Copa finalists|
|Ronaldo ´cannot be the whole of Portugal´ - Shilton|
|Messi: Neymar is an amazing person|
|Pekerman keen to finish Copa on high note|
|Rakitic: Ronaldo won´t sleep easily|
|Messi: Now is not a time to give nothing|
|Courtois expects to leave Chelsea in future|
|Less rest no problem for Portugal - Joao Mario|
|Euro 2016 Diary: Benteke rap and Nelly the elephant|