Brazil (7) 0-0 (6) Australia: An epic shootout decides the winner

In a match that saw so little between the two teams, it took 13 penalties to declare a winner at the Estadio Mineirao.

Brazil continued their quest for gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics after beating Australia 7-6 on penalties.

It was a match that saw Brazil's Cristiane not feature due to injury and an early injury during the match seeing the end of Steph Catley's Olympic dream. Both teams gave it their all but it took the lottery of penalties to find a winner on Friday night.

A scrappy first half sees no goals

Neither team could get consistent pressure or possession during the first half and thus, the match was constantly going to and forth. Both sides were getting some looks at goal but neither could capitalise on their chances and the half finished with a nil-nil score line.

The earliest chance of the game came from Steph Catley in the 16th minute, who got forward to cross the ball into the box. Her delivery became a shot and almost snuck in at the far post. A few seconds later, Debinha brought out a fantastic save from Lydia Williams as the Brazilians moved quickly down the pitch and found space in front of Australia's defenders.

The other good chance of the half came near the end when Andressa Alves played a lovely pass to Debinha, who had found space between the defenders again, but the forward sent her effort high over the crossbar.

That would be the last action of the half and both teams went into the dressing rooms still trying to figure things out. Of the two, perhaps the Australians were the happier of the two as they wanted to frustrate the Brazilian players and fans, and try and sneak a goal on the break using Sam Kerr and Lisa De Vanna's pace. The other way forward for the Australians was Emily van Egmond's set pieces which proved quite dangerous for them but, as other moments in the half, they could not find the final touch.

Marta was kept quiet by the Australians | Source: Joern Pollex/Getty Images
Marta was kept quiet by the Australians | Source: Joern Pollex/Getty Images

Chances go by for both teams

The second half saw the game open up a bit as both sides pushed a little more for the opening goal. In all of this, the cent-rebacks for both Brazil and Australia continued to have outstanding matches for their respective teams as they cut out many passes and covered a lot of ground to make goal-saving tackles.

The best chances of the half fell to the younger players on the team. In the 86th minute, substitute Chloe Logarzo took a shot from about 30 yards out which cannoned off the crossbar. Bárbara was clearly beaten but the Australian was unlucky to see her shot not dip enough to avoid the crossbar. Four minutes later, Andressa Alves thought she had won the game late when the ball fell to her in the box but Williams, who was absolutely stellar all match long, made a low reflex save to keep the game scoreless.

Kerr and Fabiana battled all night | Source: Joern Pollex/Getty Images
Kerr and Fabiana battled all night | Source: Joern Pollex/Getty Images

Penalties the ultimate decider

The teams continued to push for a winner and even though they were clearly beginning to tire, they still had the grit and the desire to keep going and to try and find the winner. As it is in football, the match went down to penalties as neither team could find a goal in 120 minutes to make their way to the semi-final stage of this tournament.

The first four penalties were well taken by both teams but the first miss of the night came from Marta. The Brazilian legend had her effort well saved by Williams and Australia were on root to win with. However, Bárbara was not to be outdone and she then proceeded to save Katrina Gorry's penalty to send the tie into sudden death. Again, both sets of players held their nerve and continued to put the ball past both goalkeepers.

Unfortunately for Australia, it was defender Alanna Kennedy, who had been an absolute rock for them, who failed to put her spot kick away and could only watch as Bárbara saved well to her left. It must be said that for most of the Australian penalties, Bárbara seemed to come quite far off her line but as the referee did not stop her or ask for any penalties to be retaken, she was within her right to continue doing so.

Australia will now join the likes of the United States of AmericaFrance and China as they journey back to their home countries while the hosts Brazil will now face Sweden for the second time in the tournament.