Sweden moves on to Gold Medal Match with shootout win over Brazil

In the first semifinal of the Olympic women’s soccer tournament Sweden topped Brazil in a penalty shootout to advance to the Gold Medal Match.  

Brazil was forced to start the match without forward Cristiane who has been dealing with a hamstring injury.

Despite her absence, Brazil dominated the first half putting constant pressure on Sweden’s defense and allowing very little going the other way. 

Brazil’s first true scoring chance came in the 23rd minute when Debinha won a header in the box and forced Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl to tip the ball over the crossbar.

Just a few minutes later, Brazil’s Marta nearly scored off a corner kick, but the ball was deflected by a Swedish defender out of play.

Sweden gave Brazil some warning signs on the counter attack, but could not truly test Brazilian goalkeeper Barbara.

Overall, Brazil recorded 15 shots in the first half compared to Sweden’s two with Brazil controlling 71 percent of the possession.

The second half was played very similarly to the first with Brazil controlling the match.

In the 60th minute, Sweden did get one of its few scoring chances as Stina Blackstenius took a shot at the top of the box, but it did not have enough power to trouble Barbara. 

With less than 20 minutes remaining in regulation, Marta got free on the right side of the field and was able to get on her left foot for a shot. However, it was directed toward the middle of the goal and was saved by Lindahl. 

Neither team could find a goal as regulation time came to an end with the score 0-0.

With Brazil in need of a goal, Cristiane came onto the field at the start of extra time, however, her inclusion did not Brazil in the first 15 minutes.

The best chance of the first session fell to Sweden as captain Lotta Schelin won a header in the box, but her attempt went wide of the goal. 

In the second session, neither team could score as both teams remained scoreless after 120 minutes. In stoppage time, Marta nearly put her side on top after the ball fell to her in the box, but her shot was saved.

In the penalty shootout, Sweden came out on top 4-3 with Lisa Dahlkvist putting away the deciding shot.

Sweden advances to the Gold Medal Match where it will face the winner of Canada vs. Germany on Friday, Aug. 19 at 4:30 p.m. ET. Brazil will play in the Bronze Medal Match on Friday, Aug. 19 at 12:00 p.m. ET.