Germany defeats Sweden to win women's gold

Germany and Sweden were playing in the gold-medal match for the first time. It was also the Olympics’ first all-European final.


Germany's players and staff celebrate after the final match of the women's Olympic football tournament at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.   -  AP

Dzsenifer Marozsan scored early in the second half on Friday and was involved in the second goal as well as Germany went on to give coach Silvia Neid a 2-1 victory over Sweden in her final match for the nation’s first Olympic gold in women’s soccer.

Neid, a two-time FIFA Women’s Coach of the Year, is stepping down following the Olympics. The win at the iconic Maracana Stadium gave her one more title to cap her 11-year career as Germany coach. At the final whistle, Neid ran with her assistants onto the field and she briefly jumped onto the players’ dogpile.

Sweden, which upset the three-time defending champion United States in the quarterfinals, earned the silver medal for its best finish in the Olympic tournament since the sport joined the program in 1996. Earlier in the day, Canada defeated host Brazil 2-1 for the bronze medal in Sao Paulo.

Germany and Sweden were playing in the gold-medal match for the first time. It was also the Olympics’ first all-European final.

The German men’s team is also playing in the gold-medal match at the Maracana, facing host Brazil on Saturday. It is the first time one nation has had both its teams in the final.

The German women went into Friday’s match with a tournament-leading 11 goals, paced by Melanie Behringer with five.

Germany had the better chances in the first half, including Anja Mittag’s rebound in the 25th minute that went just wide of the net. Lotta Schelin’s blast three minutes later sailed over the goal and the match was scoreless at the break.

Marozsan’s goal in the 48th sailed between two defenders and into the top-right corner, just beyond the outstretched fingertips of Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl. Marozsan’s free kick in the 62nd minute hit the post and rebounded off Sweden’s Linda Sembrant for an own-goal, giving Germany a 2-0 advantage. But the Swedes narrowed it in the 67th on Stina Blackstenius’ sliding goal in front of Germany goalkeeper Alumuth Schelt.

Neid announced last year that she would leave following the Rio de Janeiro Games, making way for current assistant Steffi Jones to take over as coach. Neid will take on a new role as a scout.

Sweden coach Pia Sundhage’s contract is up on December 31, and she has not given an indication of what she might do. She’s had an equally illustrious coaching career, winning gold medals with U.S. national team at both the Beijing and London Games. She led the Americans to the final match of the 2011 World Cup, but the team fell on penalties to Japan. She returned home to coach Sweden in 2013.

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