Steel Roses emerge victorious – South Africa 0-2 China
In an evenly matched first-half, China had the edge over a smartly defensive South African team. In a frantic last minute of stoppage time, Janine van Wyk saw her indirect free kick tipped onto the post by Zhao Lina before the Steel Roses broke and Gu Yasha finished off the flowing move by finishing into the far corner. The second-half followed the pattern of the first as Banyana Banyana looked to hit China on the counter whilst repelling their best efforts. With just three minutes left on the clock China got a deserved second to wrap the match up, Tan Ruyin won the ball 40 yards out before chipping an exemplary Roxanne Barker from over 35 yards. The ball looped across the stretch of the half beautifully before arching down just inside of the bar, Barker may well have done better but the strike was deserving of a goal.
Hosts roll on with a thrashing – Brazil 5-1 Sweden
Marta starred as Brazil put the sword to a sub-par Sweden, the hosts were on top right from the off and it was of no surprise when they finally took the lead half way through the first period when Beatriz slotted the ball into an empty net following a mix-up between Hedvig Lindahl and Emma Berglund. Although one of the best on the pitch for Blågult, once Lindahl had conceded her goal only grew more and more vulnerable and just three minutes later Brazil had a second after Cristiane’s pass cum shot cannoned off of Berglund to wrong foot the keeper. Any hopes the Swedes had of getting into the break just two goals down were dashed in the last minute of regular time when Magdalena Eriksson felled Cristiane in the box, Marta dispatched the penalty with aplomb to effectively wrap up the win inside of 45 minutes. Marta was on hand for the fourth goal, her quick feet too much for the defence to deal with before firing the ball past Lindahl into the far corner. Not to be outdone by the Rosengård attacker, Beatriz grabbed her second of the game, clinically firing inside of Lindhal’s far post. Despite increased impetus from Sweden after the restart, they never found the right rhythm to trouble the hosts and were reduced to a conciliary goal in the last minute of the match as Lotta Schelin lifted the ball over Barbara from 18 yards.
Another win for John Herdman's side - Canada 3-1 Zimbabwe
Christine Sinclair and Janine Beckie continued to shine as Canada romped to victory over the Mighty Warriors. It took just seven minutes for Beckie to opening the scoring, her initial back-heel repelled by Chido Dringirai for Beckie to jump on the loose ball and finish into the bottom corner. Despite a handful of top saves from Dringirai, the Olympic debutants conceded once again as Sinclair thundered the ball past the keeper from the spot. Beckie capped off a sterling first-half performance by adding a third late in the half, leaving Dringirai no chance of saving her drilled shot. With the game all but won the Canadians eased off the pedal in the second-half but were still left red-faced when deputy ‘keeper, Sabrina D'Angelo flew out of her box to clear a semi-dangerous ball. D’Angelo mistimed the run and could only watch in horror as Marjory Nyaumwe lifted the ball over her before the pair collided, Mavis Chirandu was the happy recipient as the ball found her unmarked in the box for the substitute to volley into the waiting net.
Heartbreak for the Matildas – Germany 2-2 Australia
The Matildas started like a team possessed and began to carve the German defence open with ease - taking an early lead through Sam Kerr. The Sky Blue attacker who’s struggled with injury this year was well found by Caitlin Foord before rolling the ball past Almuth Schult. The goal sparked the Germans into life and they began to put Lydia Williams under fire, although the Houston Dash number one stood up to all they could throw at her. Defence and attack worked in harmony for the Matildas as they absorbed pressure before countering against the three-time Olympic bronze medallists. Lisa de Vanna was in inspired form her side, bagged herself an assist as she slotted the ball through for Foord to flick past Schult at close range. But it only took seconds for the Germans to reduce the deficit as Sara Däbritz got her second of the tournament with a sublime angled chip from 15 yards to beat an outstanding Williams. Although there were plenty of chances for both in the second-half, and maybe Australia should have extended their lead they were left shocked when Germany equalised in the 88 minute. Both captains, were on the far post for the lofted corner and although the goal has been attributed to Saskia Bartusiak, the ball seemed to come off Clare Polkinghorne as she tumbles to the ground at the set-piece. The identity of the goal a moot point as the point is all that matters for a German side that refuses to give up.
Lloyd goal gives Ellis' side a narrow victory – USA 1-0 France
The match was always set to be a hotly contested affair and both Hope Solo and Sarah Bouhaddi had to be at their best to keep the opposition out. The decisive moment in the game came just after the hour, Tobin Heath who’d been the star performer throughout could only watch as her drilled effort ricocheted off of Bouhaddi’s near post and into the crowded box. With four blue shirts outnumbering the US’s two there was a degree of fortune as the ball flew into Carli Lloyd’s path for the current Ballon d’Or winner to stick a leg at it to volley into the open goal. Philippe Bergeroo’s side weren’t going to go down without a fight and began their assault on Solo’s goal but the strong American defence, ably backed by the Seattle Reign keeper were on top form to keep Les Bleues out and hold onto their narrow win.
Hearn the hero for the Ferns – Colombia 0-1 New Zealand
With both sides in need of a win, neither could find an early rhythm to get around their opposition although Colombia were having more joy making sure Erin Nayler was earning her wages. With Las Chicas Superpoderosas squandering their chances the Ferns made sure to take the best of theirs as a pacey square ball found Amber Hearn in the box, the Jena striker dropped a shoulder to roll her marker before getting the ball out of feet to fire under Sandra Sepúlveda from eleven yards. The goal gave New Zealand much needed confidence and the Ferns began to trouble Sepúlveda more and more but were unable to get the best of the number one. Colombia refused to give up and fought until the end, most notably two minutes from time when Tatiana Ariza tried to latch onto the ball and get away from Abby Erceg only to crash to the ground as the two tasselled. The incident prompted the referee to show the captain a straight red and the Ferns has to see out the last knockings with ten.