By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
LONDON, ENGLAND – Brazil’s female football (soccer) side crashed out of the 2012 London Olympics after losing 2-0 to reigning world champions Japan. Five-time world player of the year Marta had a quiet game as the Japanese struck sharply on the counter to send the Brazilians packing.
After two silver medals in Beijing (2008) and Athens (2004), the Seleção were eliminated before the semi-finals for the first time. Brazil were made to pay for a group stage defeat to Great Britain, which subsequently pitted them against Japan rather than Canada.
Renata Costa and Formiga went close for Brazil after being set up by Marta, but as the number ten faded so did her team-mates. Gradually, the Japanese began to put pressure on their opponents.
First, Onho hit the bar before Ogimi broke the deadlock on the counter. Falling behind failed to spur the Brazilians into action, only causing them to retreat further into their shell.
In the second half, Brazil’s first real goal threat was a free-kick from Marta that whistled wide. As the clock ticked they surged forward but another cut-throat counter from the Japanese sealed victory.
Onho received the ball down the right flank before beating Erica and sending in a shot that crashed in off the bar to end any hope of a fightback.
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