The US and Brazil storm into last eight
The United States kept their quest for a fourth straight women's football gold firmly on track, when captain Carli Lloyd ensured a 1-0 victory over France to qualify for the quarter-finals yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Brazil are also into the last eight as, inspired by a near-60,000 capacity crowd at the Rio Olympic Stadium and two goals from five-time World Player of the Year Marta, they thrashed Sweden 5-1.
The US are now unbeaten in 13 Olympic matches and, a year on from scoring a hat-trick in the World Cup final, Lloyd (right) has once again been the country's inspiration in Brazil.
After netting the opener in a 2-0 win over New Zealand on Wednesday, she slotted home the only goal in Belo Horizonte after Tobin Heath's initial effort came back off the post.
The US are assured of their place in the knock-out rounds as at least one of the two best third-placed sides, but can secure top spot in Group H with just a point against Colombia on Wednesday morning.
In contrast to their male counterparts, who began their quest for a first Olympic gold with a poor 0-0 draw with South Africa in their opening match, the hosts' women footballers have been the most impressive side of the tournament.
Fresh from brushing off China 3-0 in their opener, Brazil tore Sweden apart yesterday morning to go into the break 3-0 up, with goals from Beatriz, Cristiane and Marta.
Marta and Beatriz netted another goal apiece in the second half, with Sweden's consolation goal coming from Lotta Schelin. - AFP.
Group E: South Africa 0 China 2
Group F: Canada 3 Zimbabwe 1, Germany 2 Australia 2
Group G: Colombia 0 New Zealand 1