On Tuesday, the final four teams in the Olympic women’s soccer tournament took to the pitch to determine who would go on to the gold medal match this Friday, August 19th. Brazil would face Sweden, and Canada would face Germany in two games that were packed with surprises.
The first game kicked off at 12:00pm, as Brazil faced Sweden. Both of these teams ended their last match with a penalty shootout. Sweden had arguably the biggest upset in the tournament, sending home the #1 ranked team in the world, the United States. Brazil beat Australia in a controversial penalty shootout that sent Brazil to the semi-finals. While Brazil maintained possession throughout most of the match, Sweden’s defense pulled through. Brazil had 33 shots on goal to Sweden’s six, but neither team could find the back of the net. At the end of 90 minutes, the game was scoreless. At the end of extra time, it was still scoreless. The game moved on to penalty shootouts.
Both teams had successful first kicks, followed by misses on their second penalty shots. Marta redeemed herself, making Brazil’s first shot after missing against Australia. But Cristiane had her shot blocked by Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl. Brazilian goalkeeper Barbara managed to block Kosovare Asllani’s penalty kick, but when Andressa stepped forward to take the final shot for Brazil, it was blocked by Lindahl. Again, Dahlkvist took the final shot for Sweden and again she made it. Sweden is going on to the gold medal match.
But who will they be facing? That was determined by the next match, which kicked off at 3:00pm. Undefeated Canada was taking on a weakened German side, hoping to move on to the gold medal match. These two teams had already faced off once in the group stage, with Canada beating Germany 2-1. But Germany came out strong. They scored their first goal off a penalty kick in the 21st minute by Melanie Behringer. They tacked on a second goal in the second half, scored by Sara Daebritz in the 60th minute. While Canada certainly had a strong attacking presence, they couldn’t break through the German defense. Germany held on to their 2-0 lead and went on to win the match.
So, now Germany and Sweden will face off in the gold medal match on Friday, August 19th at 4:30pm. Neither team has ever won an Olympic gold medal before. Or a silver medal. The best finish Germany ever had was third, and the best finish Sweden ever had was fourth. No matter what happens, Friday is sure to be an exciting match. Brazil and Canada will face off for the bronze medal earlier that same day, at 12:00pm.