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Posted 4th August 2012, 07:01 in
Olympic News

Olympic Semi-Final Line-Up Set

World Cup holders Japan play France in one semi-final, reigning Olympics champions USA meet Canada in the other,

Friday August 3rd

Sweden 1-2 France

France were the first side into the semi-finals, coming from behind to defeat Sweden 2-1 at Hampden Park in the noon kick-off.

Nilla Fischer opened the scoring after 18 minutes, bundling in a Marie Hammarstrom corner via her shoulder but Sarah Bouhaddi made a great save to stop Lisa Dahlkvist doubling the lead.

France then struck twice in a ten-minute spell before the break, Laura Georges levelled on 29 minutes when heading home a Lousia Necib corner which Hedvig Lindahl didn't full clear and Wendie Renard hit what proved to be the winner, as George headed on a Sandrine Soubeyrand free-kick and the ball fell kindly for the centre-back.

Necib should have got a third for France but headed wide from a cross by Elodie Thomis' and it may have proved a costly miss but when a chance came Fischer's way again just seconds later, another fine stop by Bouhaddi ensured Les Bleues' continued interest in the pursuit of medals.

USA 2-0 New Zealand

New Zealand resisted reigning champions, the USA, for 27 minutes in Newcastle before Alex Morgan fed the ball through three defenders for Abby Wambach to slot home at the far post.

Morgan looked all set to make it 2-0 just before the hour mark but failed to make the most of the second opportunity from Megan Rapinoe's free kick.

Kiwi keeper Jenny Bindon took a second wack on the head from an American forward, as she did enough to put off Morgan, who was sent clear.

Ria Percival let fly from 35 yards but Hope Solo was behind it all the way. Substitute Sidney Leroux finally settled the result just 3 minutes from time, holding off the challenge of Rebecca Smith on the corner of the box to fire through Bindon's legs.

Brazil 0-2 Japan

Almost a stunnig start by Japan at the Millenium Stadium, as Shionbu Ohno's volley forced Andreia into a sharp save above her head after just 35 seconds. But it was Brazil who had much of the early play, forcing five corner, the last one of which Mihodo Fukumoto just managed to parry clear of danger.

Renata Costa blazed over from 8 yards out when she should have scored and Fukumoto did well to turn over Formiga's 25-yard blast. But despite Brazil hitting as much as 72% possession at one point, Japan had two clear chances in as many minutes, resulting in Ohno shooting over with the keeper stranded and then Miyama unable to find the far corner. Yuki Ogimi then got to a free kick before Andreia but her header dropped over but seconds later in the 27th minute, Ogimi got clear and slotted the ball into the far corner.

Miyama cleared the bar after Marta was booked for a dangerously high challenge, then with 18 minutes to go Japan scored on the break. A perfect ball found Ohno and she turned inside her marker and found the net via the underside of the bar to set up a semi-final with France at Wembley on Monday.

Great Britain 0-2 Canada

Team GB were unable to make inroads into a 2-0 lead that Canada built early on in front of a near capacity crowd in Coventry. Jonelle Filigno connected with a corner to fire the Canucks in front and Cristine Sinclair added the second from a free kick to set up an all-North American semi-final at Old Trafford. GB were even denied a way back in via a late penalty, after a foul on Eni Aluko went unpunished.

Something of an anti-climax then for Team GB, after their 'cup final' win over Brazil at Wembley, with the loss of Kelly Smith and Ifeoma Dieke not helping with the job of handling the strong attacking force that Canada possess.

SEMI-FINALS (Monday August 6th)
France v Japan (Wembley Stadium, 5pm)
Canada v USA (Old Trafford, 7.45)

Pictured - Laura George heads France in front against Sweden, (Photo: Andy Buist)

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