In what was billed to be a tightly contested match, Brazil ran riot and completely dismantled Sweden in front of their home fans. The true spirit of joga bonita was there for all to see tonight and it was being displayed by the Brazilian women. Brazil have now qualified from their group, Group E, and will likely finish the group as the first placed team as well due to goal difference.
Marta was clearly the star attraction for this match and she lived up to her billing. She was ably assisted by Beatriz, Rafaella and Cristiane who along with the rest of their teammates put on a show and sent out a warning to the rest of the teams still in the competition. This was a different Brazil side from previous ones and this Brazil team has the energy and the talent to go all the way.
Brazil on the front foot from the start
The intensity of the crowd was clearly matched by the players and from the very first whistle, they harried and chased down Sweden until they won the ball back and then proceeded to attack the Swedish defense with pace and precision. The first chance of the match fell to Andressa Alves in the fifth minute but her shot went straight to Hedvig Lindahl. That was clear sign of Brazil's intentions and Sweden could not adjust to the quick tempo set by the hosts.
That's not to say that Sweden did not create their own chances, they did and in the 11th minute of the match Kosovare Asllani should have given Sweden the lead when she was found wide open in the box but her effort was tame and straight at Barbara. Another opportunity fell to the Swedes later on in the half as Sofia Jakobsson found herself free in the box but instead of taking a shot, she decided to pass instead and unfortunately for her, no other Swedish player had read her intention and the ball rolled harmlessly out.
Chance after chance fell to Brazil but Lindahl continued to frustrate them with her quick reactions to prevent Brazil from taking the lead. That all ended in the 21st minute when a mix up between Emma Berglund and Lindahl allowed Beatriz to sneak in and send the ball into an empty net. From the restart, Lotta Schelin ended up scoring as well but she was ruled offside and the score remained 1-0 to Brazil.
In the 24th minute, Brazil's persistence was rewarded as Marta found some space at the byline to square the ball to Cristiane. The pass was a little behind the forward currently playing for Paris Saint-Germain, but she executed a great little flick which deflected off of Berglund on its way in for Brazil's second. That was Cristiane's 14th Olympic goal and a record-breaking one at that. The killer blow came in the 44th minute as Magdalena Eriksson was judged to have pushed Cristiane over in the box. Marta stepped up to take the penalty and calmly converted for Brazil's third.
Sweden don't find any solutions after the break
Half-time brought no real answers for Sweden. They started the second half with a higher tempo but the lack of clinical possession and finishing made it difficult to break down a stout Brazilian defense led by Rafaella. The difference in the first half between the two teams was that Brazil took their chances when they fell to them and Sweden did not. That continued to be the case in the second half.
Marta was again, a constant thorn in Sweden's side and no defender seemed to be able to stop her once she broke out into a full sprint. She continued to set up herself and her teammates into fine positions to grab more goals and was unfortunate herself a few times in the second half. Her persistence paid off in the end as in the 80th minute, a quick combination between herself and Beatriz led to her being one-on-one with Lindahl. Marta made no mistake and slotted home her second and Brazil's fourth of the night. Six minutes later, Beatriz was amongst the goals as well when she took a touch past her defender in the box before curling her shot past a diving Lindahl. 5-0 was a deserved score line for the Brazilians at this point.
Sweden did manage a consolation goal and credit to them and Schelin for not giving up even though they had been thoroughly outplayed the whole game. In the 89th minute, Schelin beat the offside trap and chipped the ball past an on-rushing Barbara to give Sweden something to build on going into their last match against China. This game was well and truly over for them by half-time and they did not find a way back into the match after that.