July 31, 2012

Bardsley, Great Britain Stymie Brazil, 1-0

Official Match Recap from TheFA.com
Recap & Match Statistics from ESPN.com
2007-Karen-Bardsley-Mug
LONDON --
Former Cal State Fullerton goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and her Great Britain teammates are into the quarterfinals unbeaten and unscored upon after posting a 1-0 shutout over perennial powerhouse Brazil to conclude Group E play at the 2012 London Olympic Games on Tuesday at Wembley Stadium.

A record crowd of 70,584 -- the most ever for a women's international match in England -- saw Stephanie Houghton score her third goal of the tournament in only the second minute of play, beating Brazilian goalkeeper Andreia and her defender to a low cross on the left side by teammate Karen Carney. Houghton then threaded a shot between her defender's legs and into the right side netting from a tight angle for her third goal in as many matches for Great Britain.

The home side almost made it 2-0 in the 55th minute when Great Britain was awarded a penalty kick after Eniola Aluko was taken down in the box. However, Andreia made a diving stop on Kelly Smith's attempt, deflecting it out for a corner.

Bardsley, who finished with seven saves and watched as another clanged harmlessly off the post, then denied Brazilian superstar Marta from close in with a kick save and smothered a rebound attempt in the 62nd minute and collected Rosana's shot at the post in the final minute of play to preserve the clean sheet.

In three starts at the Olympics, Bardsley has collected 13 saves while helping lead a defense that has yet to allow a goal. Offensively, Great Britain has outscored opponents 5-0 in its three group play fixtures.

As winners of Group E, Great Britain will now face Canada, ranked seventh in the world, in the quarterfinals on Aug. 3 at 11:30 a.m. PT at the City of Coventry Stadium. Brazil will meet 2011 World Cup Champions Japan in another quarterfinal while Sweden will take on France and the United States will clash with New Zealand in the final eight.

Canada fell to Japan, 2-1, in its opener on July 25, before shutting out South Africa, 3-0, on July 28, and battling Sweden to a 2-2 draw on Tuesday. Canada ranks tied for third with six goals scored during the tournament, all coming via the feet of former Notre Dame star Melissa Tancredi (4) and University of Portland standout Christine Sinclair (2).

2012 LONDON SUMMER OLYMPICS - WOMEN'S FOOTBALL
Aug. 3, 2012 - Quarterfinals
Sweden vs. France, 4:00 a.m. PT
United States vs. New Zealand, 6:30 a.m. PT
Brazil vs. Japan, 9:00 a.m. PT
Great Britain vs. Canada, 11:30 a.m. PT

Aug. 6, 2012 - Semifinals
Semifinal #1, 9:00 a.m. PT
Semifinal #2, 11:45 a.m. PT

Aug. 9, 2012 - Medal Round
Bronze Medal Match, 5:00 a.m. PT
Gold Medal Match, 11:45 a.m. PT

All times subject to change...