Olympic football players give everything they've got to win the gold: sweat, tears and even the occasional cartwheel. Still, only one team can ultimately stand victorious. Today, during the quarterfinals, we waved goodbye to four teams that won't be moving on to the semifinals.Olympics 2012 Giveaway: Enter to Win a Limited Edition Olympics Themed iPhone Case >>>
The day began with France slipping past Sweden (2-1) in Glasgow to qualify for the semis. Sweden began promisingly as Nilla Fischer scored early in the game. But France's Laura Georges (a Boston College grad) followed up with a goal to tie the game, and star player Wendie Renard netted another to seal the deal.
In the next quarterfinal, the US bested New Zealand in Newcastle, winning 2-0. New Zealand played well -- with good ball possession, nice passing and incredibly brave defense -- but the United States wanted the win more than their opponents, blasting two balls into the net and celebrating with impromptu gymnastics. (Who knew Lauren Cheney could flip like that?) Abby Wambach and Sydney Leroux were the two scorers.
2011 World Cup champions Japan played Brazil in Cardiff next, and once again, Japan was triumphant, winning 2-0. Yuki Ogimi scored in the first half, and her teammate Shinobu Ohno followed up with a second. Brazil's famous player Marta may have collected countless football prizes in the past -- including a handful of FIFA World Player of the Year awards and several World Cup Golden Ball awards -- but all she won in Cardiff Friday was a yellow card.
Finally, Canada battled Olympic home team Great Britain in Coventry. Sadly, it was bad news for the Olympic hosts. Canada secured a solid victory, playing some of their best football ever and beating Great Britain 2-0. Goals were scored by Rutgers student Jonelle Filigno and University of Portland graduate Christine Sinclair. (See that? Even when our official team isn't playing, the US represents.)
Japan will play France in the semifinal, while the United States will oppose Canada. Tune in Monday for the results.
Watching the Olympics on TV? Check out the BuddyTV Guide app's new "2012 Olympics" quicklist -- it puts all the Olympics TV coverage in the palm of your hand, organized by time and your personal cable/satellite setup.Sarah WatsonContributing Writer(Images courtesy of NBC)