Golden Goal, shoot-out, sensations galore at the Olympics
The US women's team, defending Olympic champions, and outsiders Norway qualified for the gold medal match of the women's tournament on a cool and windy Sunday night. In Canberra, the American were lucky not to concede the equaliser. Brasilian's Roseli was denied by a fabulous save of the US goalkeeper. At Sydney Football Stadium, Germany were the dominant team but Wunderlich's own goal sent Norway through to the final which is a re-match of the 1991 Women's World Cup championship game.
On Saturday, a spectacular quartet of quarter-finals in the men's Tournament had produced plenty to talk about : a penalty shoot-out, a Golden Goal, three red cards and four semi-finalists from four different continents.
Most sensational winners were Cameroon. The Africans finished regular time in Brisbane with only nine men but then Mbami grabbed a Golden Goal in extra time to beat the highly fancied Brazil 2-1.
The other match to go to extra time was that in Adelaide, but the prolongation there produced no goals to add to the four shared by the United States and Japan. Japanese star Hidetoshi Nakata hit a post in the shoot-out while the Americans converted all theirs to go through to the last four.
That wins the US a trip to Sydney, where they meet Spain, the 1992 Olympic Champions, whose solitary by Gabri goal five minutes from time was enough to settle a bruising all-European encounter with Italy at the Sydney Football Stadium.
In Melbourne, Chile were two goals up within 18 minutes against the reigning Olympic Champions from Nigeria and added two more before the Africans got a late consolation goal. Chile remain in Melbourne to take on Cameroon in Tuesday‘s semi-final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Thus – as so often in recent FIFA tournaments – the final quartet represent four different continents : Europe, North and Central America, South America and Africa.