European trio scrape through in Brazil
Wednesday, 10 August 2016
"We can do better," Germany coach Silvia Neid concluded after her side joined France and Sweden in making it to the quarter-finals of the Olympic tournament in unspectacular fashion.
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Europe's three contenders have all made it to the quarter-finals of the Olympic women's football tournament, but Germany, Sweden and France have not had an easy time in Brazil.
Quarter-finals, Friday 12 August
United States v Sweden, Brasilia
China v Germany, Salvador
Canada v France, Sao Paolo
Brazil v Australia, Belo Horizonte
UEFA Women's EURO 2013 winners Germany made a comfortable start to the group stage, battering Zimbabwe 6-1, but had to come from 2-0 down to hold Australia to a 2-2 draw in their second game. They only qualified as runners-up in Group F, taking the lead against Canada through a Melanie Behringer penalty only to lose 2-1 after conceding two goals to Melissa Tancredi. Germany had won their previous 12 games against the Canucks.
"Our opponents have done well, but we can do better," Germany coach Silvia Neid said after the Canada game. Captain Saskia Bartusiak agreed: "We wanted to win, and in that we have failed. We have to turn the corner as soon as possible, because if we lose the next game, we are out."
France also finished second in their section, a 4-0 win against Colombia and a 3-0 success against New Zealand coming either side of a 1-0 defeat by world champions the United States. Sweden, meanwhile, made it through Group E as one of the two best third-placed sides. They won 1-0 against South Africa on the opening day, but were routed by Brazil – 5-1 – on matchday two, and held China 0-0 to scrape through.