The first women’s soccer semifinal will be played on Tuesday, Aug. 16 at 12 p.m. ET as host nation Brazil takes on Sweden in a rematch from Group E play.
In the teams’ first matchup at the 2016 Olympics, Brazil dismantled Sweden 5-1 in one of the most impressive performances of the tournament. Marta and Beatriz each had a brace for Brazil while Cristiane added a goal as well.
Brazil dominated every facet of its match against Sweden, creating more than twice as many shots.
This semifinal is likely to be a very different story considering Sweden’s boosted confidence after eliminating the United States in the quarterfinals.
Against the U.S., Sweden executed its tactics perfectly to defeat the top ranked team in the world. The Swedes played a defensive game and used the counter attack to create offense.
Sweden could use a similar game plan against Brazil.
Brazil has won the possession battle in each of its four matches at the Olympics, including holding 60 percent of possession against Sweden. Brazil’s preference to be on the ball gives Sweden the option to play a similar style to what it used to beat the Americans.
Just like when it faced the U.S. in the quarterfinals, Sweden will have to deal with a highly talented side when it lines up against Brazil.
Brazil is led by five-time FIFA Player of the Year Marta, who is recognized as one of the best women’s soccer players ever. However, she is not the only player who could cause trouble for Sweden.
Forward Cristiane has scored two goals at the 2016 Olympics. Her 14 total goals in her Olympic career are the most of any player in Olympic history.
Six-time Olympian Formiga patrols the midfield for Brazil, providing stellar box-to-box play and veteran leadership. She is the only woman to appear in every edition of the Olympic women’s soccer tournament.
Brazil and Sweden advanced to the semifinals by winning thrilling penalty shootouts. Similar drama can be expected when the teams meet at the legendary Maracanã Stadium.