Japan knock Brazil out of women's football, USA win
World champions Japan ended Brazil's quest for a first Olympic women's football title with a 2-0 quarter-final win in Cardiff on Friday.
Brazil, captained by multiple world player of the year Marta, dominated the early stages but couldn't find a way through Japan's well-organised defence.
Yuki Ogimi then made the most of poor Brazil defending to latch on to Mizuho Sakaguchi's pass and slot home in the 27th minute.
Marta went close to an equaliser from a free-kick and Cristiane sent a free header over the crossbar before Japan doubled their lead thanks to an excellent counter-attack.
Ogimi turned provider, her flighted pass landing perfectly in the path of Shinobu Ohno, who cut inside Erika before sending a looping shot over Brazil goalkeeper Andreia.
Japan will now play France at London's Wembley Stadium on Monday.
"I'm so proud of the girls," said Japan captain Aya Miyama. "In the first half we were struggling, but we later improved. Our defence was very good. Now we have a great chance of a medal."
Meanwhile Marta tried to draw the sting from this defeat by saying: "We are leaving with our heads held high.
"We tried our best, it was a really tough game."
Earlier, veteran USA striker Abby Wambach insisted her side were "bound for glory" after a 2-0 win over New Zealand kept the defending champions on course for a third straight Olympic football title.
Wambach fired the United States into an early lead at St James' Park, the home of English Premier League club Newcastle, on Friday as the holders booked their place in the last four.
But it was not until three minutes from time, when Sydney Leroux added a second goal, that victory was secured.
The Americans will now face either hosts Great Britain or Canada, who play later Friday.
"This team is bound for glory," said Wambach. "It might not look pretty in every second of the game, but we get it done."
Wambach paid tribute to New Zealand by saying: "They're one of the most improved teams in this tournament in the last few years. You have to give them credit. They have a fantastic future and they're a great team."
Meanwhile France marked their first appearance at an Olympic women's football tournament by reaching the last four following a 2-1 win over Sweden at Glasgow's Hampden Park.
Sweden took the lead in the 18th minute when Nilla Fischer deflected in a Marie Hammarstrom corner off her shoulder. But France equalised 11 minutes later through Laura Georges's header from a corner.
France then went ahead shortly before half-time courtesy of Wendie Renard's powerful shot.
But that they won in normal time was down to goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi, who made a superb one-handed save to stop a Fischer volley that seemed destined for the top corner.
Victory gave France a measure of revenge for their defeat by Sweden in the third-place playoff at last year's World Cup.
"Sarah made a great save at just the right moment that allowed us to continue into the semi-finals," said France coach Bruno Bini.
"A goalkeeper can lose you a match, but there are a very few that can win you a match."