Sweden defeated Brazil in the semi-finals of the women's Olympic football competition at the 2016 Rio Games, as the Europeans shocked the hosts 4-3 on penalties after a goalless draw at the Maracana Stadium on Tuesday.
The Swedes will now play Germany on Friday in the fight for gold as they defeated Canada 2-0 with goals from Bayern Munich duo Melanie Behringer and Sara Dabritz.
Sweden's work ethic paid off as the Brazilians failed to advance on their own turf, breaking the hearts of Selecao football fans.
Here are the confirmed semi-final results:
|Olympic Soccer 2016: Women's Semi-Final Results|
|Brazil||0-0 (Sweden win 4-3 on pens)||Sweden|
Here is a look at the latest medals table from Rio de Janeiro:
Sweden Edge into Olympic Final
Hosts Brazil appeared inhibited in their match with Sweden and paid the ultimate price for failing in front of their opposition's goal.
The Brazilians dominated for large parts of the first half, but the Europeans kept the score goalless at half-time during a tactical affair.
Home nation superstar Marta was in a subdued mood in the opening moments, as her opponents marked her tight to nullify her genius.
Brazil had beaten Sweden earlier in the competition, chalking up a 5-1 win in the group stage, but the Swedes had learned their lesson as a result and dropped deeper to protect their tournament berth.
Marta became more influential as the game became stretched, and the entertainment increased during a warm afternoon.
The Female Canaries desperately searched for an opener as the game progressed but appeared to be running out of ideas fast, despite their superiority in possession.
Skipper Marta watched her free-kick cause bedlam in the area after 76 minutes, but once again, the Swedes packed the box and survived.
Andressa Alves almost broke the deadlock when presented with a strong opportunity, but the Barcelona forward did not execute correctly.
The hosts advanced strongly as Sweden began to invite pressure, and the match was exclusively played in the Blagult half of the pitch. Brazil's quality was lacking as they attacked, but their midfield dictated the game as they hunted in packs.
The ball almost broke to Marta in the closing stages of normal time, as the Brazilian received the ball around the penalty spot, but Sweden continued to defend for their lives as they cleared to safety.
The Maracana crowd were clearly anxious as the clock counted down, and there was a collective scream as Andressa tumbled in the penalty area. However, the referee played on as the striker protested on her knees.
The pace of the tie dropped after Brazil became more conservative and suffered from fatigue, and the team who eliminated the United States held on, taking the game to extra-time.
Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl called the action at full-time:
Sweden had the better chances as the two sides appeared drained, wilting in the sun. However, a free-kick from Marta brought the crowd to their feet in the last minutes as they cheered on the hosts—but goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl made the save.
Lindahl was called into action in the final minute as the stopper got her hand to the ball to deny a last-gasp goal as Marta watched on in agony—triggering a penalty shootout.
Marta only just beat the 'keeper to score Brazil's opening effort, but her success was matched by Lotta Schelin. There were groans as Lindahl stopped Cristiane's weak shot, but Brazil goalkeeper Barbara saved Sweden's second from Kosovare Asllani to keep the shootout level.
The score reached 3-3 before the final spot-kick for each side, and Lindahl was the hero with a spectacular save on Andressa.
Sweden's Lisa Dahlkvist made no mistake as she buried the ball into the corner to take her country to the gold-medal match, leaving Marta and her team-mates distraught.
It was a game Brazil should have won, but Marta couldn't provide the inspiration to break a strong Swedish rearguard.
The defeat will be felt by the Brazilian public, who were banking on their women to provide gold-medal success in their favourite sport.
Germany will be hot favourites to hurdle the Swede's but the Scandinavians have proved they can rise to the occasion against the game's greatest nations.