August 19, 2016
Germany holds off Swedes, win Olympic women's final
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- Germany became only the women's soccer team to win an Olympic team Friday, defeating Sweden in the final at Maracana Stadium.
For the first time since the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, a team other than the United States wore the gold medals around their necks. That's when Norway bested the Americans in a dramatic championship match, winning on a golden goal in extratime.
On Friday, the Germans did not need extratime to achieve its historic achievement.
The Swedes, who reached the final by essentially playing a bunkering style, including a shootout win over the United States in the quarterfinals, played a much more positive game by going forward.
Germany, however, struck for the first two goals, which made life difficult for their European rivals to stage a comeback for the ages.
Dzsenifer Marozsan scored the first goal and set up the second for the Germans as head coach Sylvia Neid ended her 12-year career with the German side on the highest note possible.
Neid's Sweden counterpart, Pia Sundhage coached a team to a medal for the third consecutive Olympics. She guided the USA to the 2008 and 2012 championships and gold medals. The Americans also won Olympic tournaments in 1996 and 2004.
Coaches are not awarded Olympic medals.
Marozsan fired home an 18-yard bullet past goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl and into the upper right corner in the 48th minute to give her side a 1-0 lead.
Her 22-yard free kick in the 61st minute ricocheted off the left post, but Swedish defender Linda Sembrant with three Germans bearing down on her, accidentally placed the ball into her own net to give Germany a two-goal advantage.
Only five minutes later, the Swedes made it interesting as a sliding Stina Blackstenius put in a right-wing cross from eight yards to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Sweden pressed for the equalizer and an opportunity for extratime, nut the Germans managed to close out the game to take home the gold.