Well, the time has come for the final day of the 2016 Olympic Women’s Soccer Tournament. Canada and Brazil faced off for bronze, and Sweden and Germany fought for gold. Who walked away with the medals?
The day kicked off with Canada vs. Brazil at 12:00pm. Both favorites for the finals, these two teams fought fiercely for that bronze medal. It was Canada that got the early lead, after young star Deanne Rose scored Canada’s first goal in the 25th minute. They carried that 1-0 lead into halftime, and when they came back, team captain Christine Sinclair got a goal of her own in the 52nd minute. Brazil was determined to fight back, and earned a goal by Beatriz in the 79th minute, but it wasn’t enough to force extra time. In the end, Canada won the bronze medal, giving a victorious soundoff to veteran players such as Christine Sinclair and Melissa Tancredi. Pride players Josée Bélanger of Canada and Monica Hickmann Alves of Brazil were both featured in the match.
The gold medal match kicked off at 4:30pm, with Sweden facing Germany. Both teams overcame rough starts to the tournament to reach the final, and neither team had ever played in a gold medal match before. Sweden, who had defeated teams like the United States and Brazil in the knockout rounds by having a sound defense, spread out a bit more than in past matches and attempted to score early. But the first half finished scoreless. In the second match, Germany found their momentum, playing some of the best soccer they played all tournament. In the 48th minute, Dzsenifer Marozsan scored a beautiful goal in the top corner of Sweden’s net. The Germans found another goal off a free kick in the 62nd minute; the ball bounced off the post and off the shin of Swedish defender Linda Sembrant. The goal was counted as an own goal by Sweden.
For the first time in the tournament, Sweden had to find a way to come from behind. Many thought that game was lost, but in the 67th minute, Swedish sub Stina Blackstenius found the back of the net. Sweden needed only one more goal to force extra time, but despite many great opportunities, they couldn’t do it. The gold medal went to Germany, in what was a thrilling gold medal match. Sweden would go home with the silver medal.
With the Olympic tournament over, the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) will be returning to action. The Orlando Pride have their first post-Olympic match on Friday, August 26th against the Washington Spirit in Camping World Stadium. Don’t miss your chance to see some of your favorite Olympic stars!