Brazil crash out of Olympic women's football to Sweden on penalties

Rio de Janeiro,
Aug. 17, (GNA/dpa) – Brazil crashed out of the Olympic football women’s
tournament in the semi-finals on Tuesday when they were beaten by Sweden in a
penalty shoot-out at the Maracana Stadium, following a goalless draw.

Goalkeeper Hedvig
Lindahl made the difference for Sweden as she saved kicks from Cristiane and
then Andressa, on Brazil’s fifth kick. Brazil keeper Barbara could save only
one, from Kosovare Asllani, meaning Lisa Dahlkvist could slot home the 4-3
winner.

“It was really
funny to take the last kick,” Dahlkvist said. “I like it when the
competition ends like this and I was just thinking that if I score we will
qualify for the final.”

Brazil dominated
possession but failed to break through the resolute Swedish defence despite
having thrashed them earlier in the group phase.

The Swedes had
previously progressed through the quarter-finals in similar fashion,
frustrating the United States before winning on penalties. US keeper Hope Solo
went as far as calling their approach cowardly but the beaten Brazilians did
not go that far.

“Sweden stayed
back and played defence with all 11 players in the back,” Barbara said.
“Each team works the way they think they must. I wouldn’t call it a
cowardly approach, but they only played defence.

“Unfortunately,
we didn’t have the opportunity to break through. Their strategy worked today,
they came out with the win and that’s football.”

Marta, Andressa
Alves and Rafaelle all found the net for Brazil in the shoot-out with Lotta
Schelin, Caroline Seger and Nilla Fischer doing likewise for Sweden before
Dahlkvist settled the tie.

Brazil can still
end the long wait for a first Olympic gold medal in football at their home
Games as their men remain in the competition and face Honduras in the semi-finals
Wednesday.

Sweden are now
guaranteed at least a silver for their first-ever medal in women’s football and
face Germany in Friday’s Maracana final.

“There is
crazy stuff going on in the dressing room,” said coach Pia Sundhage, who
led the US to gold in 2012. “The fact that we have done something the
Swedish national team have never done before … it’s a big smile.

“But still we
are not satisfied as we want to win the next game.”

Germany, who won
three consecutive bronzes between 2000 and 2008, defeated Canada 2-0 in the
second semi-final in Mineirao.

Melanie Behringer’s
20th minute penalty and Sara Daebritz’s goal on the hour ensured a
comfortable victory.

Canada face Brazil
in the bronze medal match Friday in Mineirao.

“Today we are
sad because the match has just ended, but there will be no more sadness
tomorrow,” Barbara insisted. “We have to get our heads back up, look
ahead and go for the next goal, which is the bronze medal.”

GNA

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