WORLD: Olympic Games Women
Time: 12:30 PM
Venue: Saitama Stadium (Saitama)
Pia Sundhage‘s side currently sit in second place with a three-point lead over Tuesday’s opponents and third-placed China PR Women, meaning a point on Tuesday would confirm a top-two finish, while Zambia Women will likely have to battle to progress as one of the best third-placed sides.
Having come into the tournament as one of the favourites to earn a medal, Brazil Women started their group campaign in style, thrashing China PR Women 5-0 in Rifu.
They would then face a tougher test in the following game last time out, as they took on a Netherlands Women side who boasted a superior goal difference thanks to a 10-3 win in the opening game.
Despite going down on two separate occasions, Brazil would fight back to go 3-2 up after 70 minutes thanks to goals from Marta and Ludmila, only for Dominique Janssen to draw Netherlands Women back level with 10 minutes to go.
While they will have been disappointed not to hold on for another win, Sundhage’s side all but confirmed their progression with that point, now sitting three points clear of both Zambia Women and China PR Women with a far stronger goal difference than those two sides.
As a result, Brazil Women simply need to avoid a defeat on Tuesday to confirm a finish in the top two, although they would stand a strong chance of progressing as one of the best third-placed sides even if they were somehow overtaken on the final day.
Their opponents have the much tougher task of picking up a positive result on Tuesday in their bid to qualify for the knockout stage against the odds.
In their first ever appearance at the Olympic Games Women’s Football competition, the Zambian side took on a heavily-fancied Netherlands Women team, and they would not be given an easy start to life on the world stage.
Bruce Mwape‘s team would then take on a China PR Women side fresh off a 5-0 defeat to Brazil Women, with the result potentially crucial in deciding who earned third spot.
That game did not start well for the Zambian national side as Wang Shuang gave China the lead after just six minutes, but Racheal Kundananji would level the game in the 15th minute before Shuang completed her hat-trick to put their opponents 3-1 up in the first half.
Banda would then hit her second consecutive hat-trick to turn the game on its head, putting Zambia 4-3 up heading into the final five minutes before China Women earned a penalty that Shuang converted to see the sides split the points following a dramatic 4-4 draw.
While their concerning goal difference tally means Zambia Women should fall short of the top two, they still stand a chance of reaching the quarter-finals if they manage to earn a victory on Tuesday, as two of the best third-placed sides will qualify from the group stage.
- Brazil’s form in last 5 matches: DWDWW.
- Zambia’s form in last 5 matches: DLLWW.
PREDICTION: Home and Over 1,5