Swedish women dump Brazil, face Germans
The Swedish women\'s football team beat hosts Brazil in a penalty shootout and will take on Germany, who defeated Canada in the semis, in the final.
The Swedish women's football team beat hosts Brazil in a penalty shootout and will take on Germany, who defeated Canada in the semis, in the final.
Rio de Janeiro, Sweden ended a disconsolate Marta's dreams of guiding Brazil's women to a first Olympic football gold medal Tuesday with a 4-3 penalty shoot-out win to set up a final with Germany.
The five-time world player of the year walked off in tears after the upset before 70,000 people in a stunned Maracana stadium.
Brazil thrashed the Swedes 5-1 in the group stages but were held to a third consecutive 0-0 draw.
As in their quarter-final win over Australia, they forced to go through the agony of penalties.
Unlike against the Australians, Marta converted from the spot, but then saw her ambition of capping a glorious career by finally winning a major international title devastated.
"There is no way to describe the feeling of frustration," said Brazil coach Vadao.
Marta, who has played her club football in Sweden for the past four years, was consoled by Swedish players, whilst the huge Maracana crowd gave their defeated team a huge ovation.
Cristiane, the Olympics' all-time top scorer, and Andressa saw spot-kicks saved by Hedvig Lindahl after neither side could score a goal in 120 minutes.
Lisa Dahlkvist converted the winning penalty to secure a place in the final and Sweden's first women's football Olympic medal.
Germany also avenged a group stage defeat in the other semi-final. Goals from tournament top scorer Melanie Behringer and Sara Daebritz confined Canada to a 2-0 defeat and another battle for the bronze they won in London four years ago against Brazil in Sao Paolo on Friday.
Brazil's women were playing for just the second time at Maracana and Marta hopes the momentum built-up for the women's version of the game in football-mad Brazil is not halted by the disappointment.
"Nothing will take the shine off the work we did during the whole year," Marta told SporTV.
‘Brazil means football’ "This is a glorious moment for women's football. It is everybody's dream to play here," added Vadao.
"It is full of tradition. It is a cultural thing in Brazil, it is a symbol. Maracana means Brazil and Brazil means football. It is quite a moment and I am just sorry we didn't make it to the final."
There was delight for Sweden coach Pia Sundhage, who can now win a third straight gold medal after leading the United States to victory in 2008 and 2012.
"It is very emotional. I have been in China and London in Olympic finals, but with a team everyone expected to do well.