It was to be another defensive set-up for Pia Sundhage as she had her sights firmly set on staying in Rio and relegating Brazil to the bronze medal match in São Paulo. The tone set early as the hosts attacked and Sweden absorbed the pressure, Brazil coming at them in waves the Swedes held firm. Though not as proficient on the counterattack, Brazil attacked solidly and centrally for 90 minutes but couldn’t break through the resolute defence.
The players and fans were forced to endure another half an hour of exactly the same before both were resigned to yet another shoot-out.
After missing her penalty against Australia, Marta made no mistakes against Sweden to get the pendulum swinging in favour of the hosts before Lotta Schelin restored parity. Both Cristiane and Kosovare Asllani saw their best efforts saved by Hedvig Lindahl and Bárbara respectively. Toe-to-toe the two went, Brazil scored through Andressa Alves before Caroline Seger responded in kind, Rafaelle put hers away before Nila Fischer sent Bárbara the wrong way. Andressinha saw her spot-kick saved before Lisa Dahlkvist once again converted the decisive penalty.
Canada and Germany both set out to make history and earn a place in their first ever Olympic grand final. The game was comfortably open, Germany with more possession but Canada looking worrisome when they got forward. The current European Champions took the lead through Melanie Behringer half-way through the first-half after Alexandra Popp was floored by Kadeisha Buchanan. From then on out the Canadians amped up the pressure and finished the half strongly, starting the second period at the same pace but a lack of killer touch proved costly. After missing several good chances, Canada watched in horror as Germany worked the ball forward for Sara Däbritz to finish neatly into the near post. It wasn’t to be Canada’s day and even though they continued to move forward and attack Die Nationalelf, they couldn’t find the right ball to beat a faultless Almuth Schult.
Both medal matches are scheduled for Friday, firstly Brazil will face Canada in the bronze medal match in the Arena Corinthians in São Paulo at 5pm GMT. Later that night Sweden and Germany will contest the grand final in the Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro at 9.30pm GMT.