Saturday 13 August 2016, 04:50

Hosts progress after dramatic penalty shoot-out

Brazil advanced to the Women's Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016 semi-finals following a dramatic 7-6 penalty shoot-out win over Australia after the match ended goalless after 120 minutes.

The hosts were boosted by a full house of support at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte. Brazil proved to be the more dangerous attacking side on the night, but Australia goalkeeper Lydia Williams was in top form, making tremendous saves to keep her side in the match. However it was Brazil goalkeeper Barbara who would have the final say on the night.

The theme of the match, starting in the first half, was intensity. Brazil started with high levels of energy going forward but the Australian midfield were effective in stopping Brazil from getting into a rhythm in midfield.

Brazil showed more danger in attack with Formiga and Debinha asking the most questions of The Matildas. Australia were up against it early in the match when Steph Catley was replaced by Chloe Logarzo afer 20 minutes due to injury.

Brazil's best chance of the half came three minutes before the intermission when Andressa Alves, who was a threat to Australia's defence all evening, found Debinha after a positive attacking move. Debinha cut inside the penalty area but her shot was too high.

Both teams had chances late in regulation time. Substitute Chloe Logarzo came close to scoring the winner for Australia with minutes remaining when her long-range shot hit the crossbar, while Williams was called into action to make a stunning save from a close-range Andressa Alves effort.

In extra time the hosts continued to have more chances in attack, but Williams was up to the challenge, and the sides eventually could not be separated and headed to penalties.

After eight successful penalties in the shootout, Marta was denied by Williams. Steph Catley then stepped up knowing a successful effort would see her side through, but Brazil goalkeeper Barbara spectacularly saved to keep her side's Olympic hopes alive. Barbara then went on to be the hero of the night when she saved Alanna Kennedy's shot, ensuring the hosts' Rio 2016 journey continued.

Brazil will now meet Sweden in the semi-finals at the historic Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday 16 August.