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2016 Rio Olympics

Recapping Brazil’s march through Group E

Brazil have not won a knockout match at a major tournament since 2008. (Getty Images)

Brazil have not won a knockout match at a major tournament since 2008. (Getty Images)

Home team Brazil went into their final group match of the 2016 Olympics with very little pressure to win, if any at all, as a draw would have given them a top finish in Group G after a strong performance through their first two matches against China and then Sweden.

In their first match of the tournament, Brazil took a 3-0 victory versus China, behind goals from Monica, Andressa Alves, and Cristiane. They got their opening goal in the 36th minute after a long looping header somehow bounced into the goal past a sea of Chinese red and goalkeeper Zhao Lina in the six-yard box.

Near the end of the half, Brazil had a couple of defensive lapses including a near own goal as Fabiana headed the ball a little too hard for goalkeeper Barbara, making it difficult for her to get to, and they could only watch the ball roll by just near the right post.

In the second half, Brazil continued their otherwise dominant game, adding two more goals. On the second goal, Marta made a great run up the right side of the field where a long ball from Andressa was played into the right side of the penalty area. Marta then collected and controlled it, and after a few steps, took a quick look up, and found Andressa Alves, who smashed it in from six yards out. The final goal came in the 90th minute as Cristiane rose up to head in a free kick and end the game at 3-0.

{CURREN: No need for USWNT panic after draw}

The Brazilians’ second match against Sweden saw them absolutely dominate and establish themselves as true potential gold medal winners in this tournament. A 5-1 victory impressed the home crowd and then Brazil was in a great spot to win their group.

To open the scoring against Sweden, Beatriz headed a long ball in front of her, and what looked like a heavy touch to make the ball escape her turned into a goal when she impressively kicked it around a shielding Swedish defender and oncoming goalkeeper in the 21st minute. Then just three minutes later, Cristiane scored on a low cross from Marta with the inside of her left foot for what became her 14th Olympic goal to become the all-time leading goal scorer of the tournament.

Marta had the next two goals, one a penalty kick just before the end of the first half. Her second would come late in the game as she seemingly attempted to chip the ball to a teammate with her left foot, but it bounced off a Swedish defender. Marta, being Marta, simply kicked the ball ahead with her right foot in a quick reaction and blasted the ball with her left foot.

{MORE: Canada edges Germany, wins Group F | Quarterfinal matchups set}

Beatriz scored Brazil’s fifth goal, and her second, of the match with a swift touch and turn to burry the ball into the left lower corner of the goal. Sweden’s LottaSchelin scored an impressive goal in stoppage time, but it was nearly meaningless as Brazil walked away with a four-goal advantage.

Heading comfortably into the third match of the group stage, Brazil had very little to worry about as all they had to do was tie against a South Africa team that failed to score even once in the whole tournament. It showed when head coach opted to start back-up goalkeeper Aline, and benched Marta, among other notable line-up moves. This match ended at 0-0, despite numerous opportunities for Brazil. However, had they been playing for anything greater, it might be safe to say that they would surely have increased their intensity and drive to win this match.

Moving onto quarterfinals after outscoring opponents 8-1 in the group stage, Brazil will face an Australia team that tied Germany 2-2 and beat Zimbabwe 6-1, but fell 0-2 against Canada in their Group F opener, even with a one-man advantage for the majority of the match. The match will be the first quarterfinal of the day, and is set for Friday, August 12, at 12p.m. ET.

Brazil stats through group stage:
vs China:
Goals: 3-0
Shots: 21-4
SOG: 10-1
Possession: 64-36

vs Sweden:

vs RSA:
Possession: 64-36


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