For the second consecutive game, Sweden has outlasted an opponent in extra time and penalty kicks. They're heading to the Olympic gold medal match in women's soccer after a 0-0 draw and a 4-3 victory on penalties.
Sweden utilized a strategy similar to their quarterfinal against the United States, with one fast striker up top and 10 other players behind the ball. Lotta Schelin, who has been the top scorer in the European Champions and France’s top flight, was asked to play as a defensive winger once again.
The closest Brazil came to scoring in the first half came in the 27th minute on a corner kick. Lisa Dahlkvist went for a risky clearance and nearly headed the ball into her own goal, but it barely missed the post and bounced out for another corner. The closest Sweden came to scoring all match was a half-chance in the 60th minute, when Stina Blackstenius shot right at the keeper from the center of the box. Sweden finished regulation time with just three shot attempts.
Brazil nearly won the game in the 90th minute on a free kick. Andressinha delivered a gorgeous ball into the box that her midfield partner Formiga got on the end of and headed towards goal. Hedvig Lindahl bobbled the ball, but recovered to grab it before it went over the line.
Legendary Brazilian striker Cristiane came on to start extra time, but she wasn’t able to help her team find the back of the net. She came close in the 120th minute, though, forcing Lindahl into a good save after the Swedish goalkeeper made a poor punch on a cross into the box. But with no one able to finish a chance, the sides headed to penalties tied up at 0-0.
After Marta and Schelin scored, Cristiane had a weak penalty down the middle saved. But it was instantly level, as Kosovare Asllani had her penalty stopped too. Everyone scored over the next three rounds, but Lindahl made a spectacular save on Andressinha on Brazil's final spot kick. Dahlqvist stepped up and scored, sending Sweden to the gold medal match.