Rio Olympics: heartbreak for Matildas in Brazil shootout

Alanna Kennedy is consoled after her penalty was saved.
Alanna Kennedy is consoled after her penalty was saved.

The Matildas’ Olympics campaign is over following a 7-6 penalty shootout loss to Brazil at Estadio Mineirão.

Brazilian goalkeeper Barbara proved the hero for the hosts, saving Alanna Kennedy’s penalty to send her side into the final four match with Sweden on Tuesday.

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The match went to a dreaded shootout after scores were locked 0 – 0 after normal and extra time.

Brazil had the better of the match for the most part, firing off 26 shots to 9. Katanning-born goalkeeper Lydia Williams starred for Australia as a barrage of shots were fired.

One of her best efforts came when when she denied Brazilian captain Marta in the 119th minute. Marta had streamed down the right wing, wrong-footed the defender before striking a rocket straight for the bottom near corner.

But Williams was equal to the task, pushing the ball wide and into safety and keeping Australia’s semi final dream alive. In the shootout Williams again denied Marta to set up an opportunity for victory with Australia’s fifth penalty.

But Katrina-Lee Gorry had to watch as her shot – struck left from the spot- was well saved by Barbara.

Three penalties later and the weight of the world was on Kennedy, who had had to score to keep Australia in the match.

Barbara, who had been pushing hard off her line all shootout, again came to the party to deny Australia and send the home fans wild.