The United States’ women’s football team will come up against former coach Pia Sundhage in the quarter-finals at Rio 2016, after Sweden booked their place in the last eight on Tuesday.
Sundhage led USA to Olympic gold in 2008 and 2012, as well as overseeing a run to the final of the 2011 Women’s World Cup, but will now be tasked with inflicting a shock defeat on the defending champions and tournament favourites.
Sweden drew 0-0 with China in their final group game – a result that saw both teams progress behind Group E winners Brazil, whose match against South Africa also finished goalless.
Brazil will now face Australia, who trounced Zimbabwe 6-1 in Group F on Tuesday. Canada maintained their perfect record with a 2-1 win against Germany, the next opponents for China.
USA had already qualified from Group G prior to their below-par display in a 2-2 draw with Colombia, which featured a goalkeeping blunder from veteran Hope Solo. France earned second place behind the US, beating New Zealand 3-0 to earn a last-eight meeting with Canada.
Canada had never previously beaten Germany in women’s international football, but two goals from skipper Melissa Tancredi brought an end to that.
PLAYER OF THE DAY
Colombia’s Catalina Usme received a helping hand from Solo when the keeper let a routine 26th-minute free-kick slip through her hands. However, Solo had no chance when Usme curled home a second set-piece in stoppage time to earn her side an impressive point.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“No journey to the top is ever perfect. We move on and keep our heads up. The best is yet to come!” – USA star Carli Lloyd remains upbeat on Twitter following the draw with Colombia.
The men’s group stage is brought to a close on Wednesday, before the women’s quarter-finals take place on Friday.