US, Brazil se­cure qua er-fi­nal be hs

The Myanmar Times - - Olympics -

THE United States kept their quest for a fourth-straight women’s foot­ball gold firmly on track when cap­tain Carli Lloyd en­sured a 1-0 vic­tory over France to qual­ify for the quar­ter-fi­nals.

Brazil are also into the last eight as, in­spired by a near-60,000 ca­pac­ity crowd at the Rio Olympic Sta­dium and two goals from five-time world player of the year Marta, they thrashed Swe­den 5-1.

The United States are now un­beaten in 13 Olympic matches, and a year on from scor­ing a hat-trick in the World Cup fi­nal Lloyd has once again been the United States’ in­spi­ra­tion in Brazil.

Af­ter net­ting the US opener in a 2-0 win against New Zealand on Au­gust 3, she slot­ted home the only goal in Belo Horizonte af­ter Tobin Heath’s ini­tial ef­fort came back off the post.

The US team are as­sured of their place in the knock­out rounds as at least one of the two best third­placed sides, but can se­cure top spot in Group H with just a point against Colom­bia to­mor­row.

France had im­pressed in thrash­ing Colom­bia 4-0 in their open­ing game and had the bet­ter of the first 45 min­utes.

How­ever, Amer­i­can keeper Hope Solo made a huge save to deny Marie Laure Delie on her 200th in­ter­na­tional ap­pear­ance.

The world cham­pi­ons im­proved af­ter the break and were re­warded when Lloyd was char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally in the right place at the right time to score her 90th in­ter­na­tional goal.

New Zealand beat Colom­bia 1-0 in the other game in the Group to move level with France on three points.

In con­trast to their male coun­ter­parts, who stum­bled 0-0 with South Africa un­der the pres­sure to de­liver Brazil’s first Olympic foot­ball gold, the hosts’ women have been the most im­pres­sive side in the tour­na­ment.

Fresh from dust­ing off China 3-0 in their opener, Brazil tore Swe­den apart to go in 3-0 up at the break.

Beatriz nipped in ahead of Swe­den ‘keeper Had­vig Lin­dahl for the opener be­fore Cris­tiane ex­tended her record as all-time top scorer in the Olympics with her 14th goal in her fourth Games.

Marta played against the coun­try where she has played club foot­ball for the past four years, just 24 hours af­ter car­ry­ing the Olympic flag into the Mara­cana dur­ing the open­ing cer­e­mony.

How­ever, she looked far from jaded as she con­verted Brazil’s third from the penalty spot be­fore dou­bling her tally with a fan­tas­tic fin­ish 10 min­utes from time.

Beatriz curled home her se­cond six min­utes later be­fore Lotta Sche­lin net­ted a con­so­la­tion goal for Swe­den.

Tan Ruyin scored with a sen­sa­tional dip­ping drive from over 40 yards out as China moved into se­cond in Group E with a 2-0 win over South Africa.

Canada are also through to the knock­out stages af­ter seal­ing their se­cond win in as many games against tour­na­ment debu­tants Zim­babwe 3-1 in Sao Paulo.

Ja­nine Beckie scored twice, whilst vet­eran striker Chris­tine Sin­clair scored her 163rd in­ter­na­tional goal from the penalty spot.

Two-time world cham­pi­ons Ger­many came back from 2-0 down against Aus­tralia to move into se­cond in Group F.

The Matil­das looked set to bounce back from their open­ing 2-0 de­feat to Canada thanks to first-half goals from Sa­man­tha Kerr and Caitlin Fo­ord.

How­ever, Sara Daebritz pulled a goal back im­me­di­ately and Saskia Bar­tu­siak snatched a point two min­utes from time. –

Photo: EPA

Marta leads her Brazil team­mates over China, win­ning 3-0 at home in the Olympic Sta­dium on Au­gust 3.

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