Saturday, August 6th marked the second day of games for the women’s soccer tournament in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. With many exciting goals and familiar faces from the NWSL, Saturday’s matches were not something to be missed.
Saturday’s games started off with Canada taking on Zimbabwe. Canada made some adjustments to their lineup from their first game against Australia, including the placement of Orlando Pride Defender Josée Bélanger in the starting lineup. Houston Dash Forward Janine Beckie found the back of the net twice in the first half, scoring her first goal in the 7th minute of the game. Christine Sinclair of the Portland Thorns would add to that total, scoring in the 19th minute. After winning the match 3-1, Canada has a chance to win the group if they beat a dominant German team in Tuesday’s final round of the group stage.
The next match featured the United States facing their fiercest opponent yet, France. The game was intense, and while France dominated the number of shots, they couldn’t find the back of the net. In the 64th minute of the game, Portland Thorns Midfielder Tobin Heath managed to connect with none other than Carli Lloyd, giving the United States the goal that would lead to their 1-0 victory. The game featured many NWSL stars, including Orlando Pride Forward Alex Morgan. The United States will travel to Manaus to take on Colombia on Tuesday, August 9th at 5:00pm for the last game in the group stage. France will face New Zealand later the same night.
After losing 2-0 to Canada in their Olympic opener, Australia was looking for some redemption as they took on Germany on Saturday night. Australia took an early lead, scoring two goals in the first half, but Germany would make a comeback. The game ended in a 2-2 draw that featured Orlando Pride Defenders Laura Alleway and Steph Catley. Australia hopes to make it as one of the 3rd place teams that will move on to the quarterfinals, while Germany will battle with Canada on Tuesday, August 9th to see who will take first place in their group.
South Africa faced off against China later that evening. China won the game 2-0, scoring a goal at the end of the first half and one more in the 87th minute. South Africa is also making their Olympic tournament debut, and will look forward to playing the final match of the group stage against host nation Brazil. China will face Sweden as they look to clinch second place in the group.
Colombia went up against New Zealand on Saturday night in a competitive match to see who would get the edge in the battle to stay alive in their group. It was a tight match, with the lone goal coming from New Zealand Forward Amber Hearn in the 31st minute. Colombia will face off against a tough United States on Tuesday, while New Zealand looks to take on an equally difficult France.
The final match of the night saw host nation Brazil take on Sweden. The Brazilian women dominated the game, winning 5-1 with two goals by legendary Midfielder Marta and two goals by Beatriz. Cristiane would also find the back of the net, as would Swedish Forward Lotta Schelin who scored Sweden’s lone goal of the night. Brazil looks poised to win their group on Tuesday in a match against Olympic newcomers South Africa , and will inevitably carry their momentum into the quarterfinals. Sweden looks to battle to stay alive as they take on China on Tuesday night.
The women’s soccer tournament will return on Tuesday, August 9th, so don’t miss any of the action! The first kickoff will be Australia vs. Zimbabwe at 3:00pm.