The Women's soccer tournament is down to semi-finals and the
USWNT Sweden will be playing the home team Brazil in a sold out Maracana Stadium for the right to contest the Gold Medal match. Followed by our neighbors to the north, Canada, playing the Germans in the other semi-final. Let's preview each game separately and finish with today's other Olympic highlights.
How to Watch, Women's Olympic Semi-Finals:
Brazil v Sweden
Tuesday, 9 AM
Location: Maracana, Rio De Janiero
Streaming: Women's Soccer Semi-Final Match 2
The excellent commentary team of Arlo White and Kate Markgraf on the call.
Sweden were the upset winner over the USWNT in the quarterfinals. The Swedes sat back in a 4-5-1 formation and hoped to get a counterattack goal and stifle the USA's attack. They did and they did. The USA equalized and even though Sweden gave up the bulk of possession and shots they made it to penalty kicks and won 4-3 to advance. Look for Sweden to employ essentially the exact same strategy against Brazil.
Brazil also needed penalty kicks to make it to the Semi-Finals. Tied 4-4 after the first four rounds, Marta stepped up to take Brazil's fifth penalty and the penalty was saved leaving Brazil one shot away from defeat and 5 time FIFA player of the year Marta being forever remembered as the one who lost the tournament at home. Then Alanna Kennedy for Australia was saved and Brazil ended up winning 7-6 after eight rounds of penalties.
Now Brazil will play for a chance to play for the Gold Medal. Historic Maracana Stadium is sold out and in excess of 70,000 fans will be cheering on the home team as they try to pry open Sweden's bunker while setting numerous attendance records for Women's soccer along the way.
A rematch from exactly a week ago today where Canada beat Germany 2-1 in Mane Garrincha Stadium, Brasilia. That was Canada's first ever win over Germany. Going into that game they had played 12 times with Germany winning 12 times. Neither team has made the Gold Medal match but combined they own the last four Olympic bronze medals (Germany 2000, 2004, 2008 & Canada 2012).
Canada are the only team perfect through the Olympic tournament (Men or Women) with four wins from four played. After winning their group they beat France in the Quarterfinals 1-0 on a Sophie Schmidt goal in the 56th minute. Canada might have to shuffle their back line as Josée Bélanger is out due to suspension (yellow card accumulation) and the other fullback, Allysha Chapman, had her shoulder pop out during the France game. Chapman might be ready to go, but an alternate is on site if an injury roster substitution is needed.
Germany made it this far after a 1-0 win over China in their quarterfinal. Melanie Behringer scored an absolute screamer from 25 yards for the winning goal in the 76th minute over a China team that was down to 10 players (it turns out that if you have a yellow card already it is not a good idea to kick someone in the face, who knew?).
Other Notable Olympics Broadcasts Today:
All the team sports in Brazil are in about the same stage as the Soccer tournament. Today is littered with quarterfinal elimination games across Volleyball, Basketball, Handball and Water Polo. Any channel you find will likely have something compelling on, but here are a few that stand out on the TV schedule.
Women's Basketball Quarterfinals: USA v Japan
2:30 PM, NBCSN
Men's Water Polo Quarterfinals: Serbia v Spain, Brazil v Croatia, Greece v Italy
9 AM - 2 PM, MSNBC
Women's Handball Quarterfinals: Spain v France, also double badminton and Canoe/Kayak finals
9:30 AM - 12:15 PM, USA Network
NBC Primetime features Track and Field finals include Women's 1500M , Men's High Jump and Men's 110M Hurdles. Women's Gymnastics floor exercise features two Americans as favorites, Simone Biles and Aly Raisman. And beach volleyball has the matchup of the night. Defending Olympic Champion Kerri Walsh Jennings with new partner April Ross meet up with defending World Champion Brazilians Agatha and Barbara.
8 PM, NBC