Great Britain’s women saw their Olympic football tournament end with a 2-0 quarter-final defeat by Canada.
Just days after beating Brazil at the Wembley Stadium, they were unable to reach the same heights against Canada whose win set up a semi-final clash with neighbours and reigning Olympic champions the US.
Meanwhile, world champions Japan ended Brazil’s quest for a first Olympic women’s football title with a 2-0 win in Cardiff. Japan will now play France at Wembley.
“I’m so proud of the girls,” said Japan captain Aya Miyama. “In the first half we were struggling, but we later improved. Now we have a great chance of a medal.”
Meanwhile Brazil captain Marta, a multiple world player of the year, tried to draw the sting from the defeat by saying, “We are leaving with our heads held high. We tried our best, it was really tough.”
France marked their first appearance at an Olympic women’s football tournament by reaching the last four, following a 2-1 win over Sweden at Glasgow’s Hampden Park.
Sweden took the lead in the 18th minute through Nilla Fischer but France equalised 11 minutes later through Laura Georges’s header from a corner. France then went ahead shortly before half-time, courtesy of Wendie Renard’s powerful shot.
Meanwhile, Japan also reached the semis of the men’s event with a 3-0 win over 10-man Egypt.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2012.