Brazil goalkeeper Barbara leapt to the defence of Sweden following Hope Solo’s “cowards” comments, despite the host nation’s defeat in the semi-finals.
United States shot-stopper Solo labelled Sweden’s approach as cowardly after they knocked the defending Olympic champions out of the women’s football tournament on penalties in Rio last week.
Sweden then managed to eliminate Brazil in the semi-finals of the competition on Tuesday, sending the hosts out after another tense shoot-out.
While Brazil had the better of the opportunities throughout, they were unable to break down a resolute Sweden defence, and Barbara had no issues with the way the Scandinavians set out to play.
She said: “Sweden stayed back and played defence with all 11 players in the back. We tried to break through with three, four attackers. We shot on goal a few times, what they didn’t do, but unfortunately the ball didn’t go in for us today.
“Each team works the way they think they must. I wouldn’t call it a cowards approach, but they only played defence. I think they used their strategy.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t have the opportunity to break through. Their strategy worked today, they came out with the win and that’s football.”
Despite being unable to reach the final at the Maracana, reserve goalkeeper Aline believes Brazil has stood up and begun to pay attention to women’s football.
“Everyone in the team is very sad. It’s not the result we wanted. There was something very beautiful said at the locker room,” she said.
“These Olympic Games were different for us. The medal we’ve won is the respect of people. Brazil is paying more attention to women’s soccer.
“Even people who didn’t use to care about us have been supporting us. That’s very nice.
“It’s very important for women’s football as a whole and it’s going to keep changing the country’s view of the sport for future generations.”