Rio 2016 Australia vs Brazil football quarter final Match
The Matildas almost overturned a seven-goal difference to pinch second spot in their group, but a last-gasp Zimbabwean goal has consigned Australia to a quarter-final against hosts Brazil.While the Matildas beat the lowly Africans in Salvador on Tuesday, the 6-1 result was not enough to dislodge Germany from second spot in group F, despite the Germans suffering a surprise 2-1 loss to Canada – who finished top.It means the Matildas, ranked No.5 in the world, will face Brazil on Friday in Rio at Belo Horizonte in the quarter-finals. Australia will be striving for a repeat of the round of 16 match between the two sides at last year’s World Cup in Canada – won by the Matildas. Brazil finished top of their group after a 0-0 draw with South Africa in Manaus.
Australian coach Alen Stajcic expected an even contest with the No.8 ranked hosts.Two weeks ago Brazil beat us 3-1 in a friendly game, but we beat them at the World Cup,” he said. “They toured Australia two years ago – they won one game and we won one game.
“We know we can beat them and they know that they can beat us, so it’ll be a very even game.They’re in good form and they’ve obviously got some world-class players, but I know we can compete with everyone on the day.”
With a win all but assured against Zimbabwe, ranked 93rd, the Matildas left out goalkeeper Lydia Williams, midfielder Sam Kerr and defender Laura Alleway, with Mackenzie Arnold, Emily Van Egmond and Chloe Logarzo coming in at their expense.As expected, the Matildas dominated possession and were rarely challenged.
Australia wasted little time to open their account. Elise Kellond-Knight played through Lisa De Vanna in the second minute, with the veteran striker capitalising on an empty net.With barely any pressure, Claire Polkinghorne made it 2-0 as she converted from close range after a piercing corner in the 14th minute.
The third goal came from an Alana Kennedy header in the 37th minute, and Australia went to half-time with a three goal buffer. It could have been bigger though, with Caitlin Foord posing a persistent challenge to the wafer-thin Zimbabwean defence.
With the prospect of second spot alive, Australia peppered the opposition goal, but back-up goalkeeper Lindiwe Magwede stood tall.
Having committed players forward to pinch a stoppage time seventh, Australia opened the door for Zimbabwe to score, and midfielder Emmalulate Msipa scored in the 91st minute to snuff out Alen Stajcic’s side’s hopes of a remarkable turnaround.
The US will play Sweden, the winner of which will play the winner of Australia and Brazil. On the other side of the draw, China will take on Germany and France play Canada.