After meeting three times in less than a year, it is a case of familiarity breeding mutual respect when it comes to Germany and Brazil. In a repeat of the FIFA Women's World Cup China 2007 final, world champions Germany take on runners-up Brazil in the semi-final of Beijing 2008 for a chance to claim Olympic gold.
Despite failing to find their stride in the group stage, Germany progressed to the quarter-finals thanks to two narrow 1-0 victories over Nigeria and Korea DPR. Then in their last-eight clash with Sweden, it took two goals in extra time by Kerstin Garefrekes and Simone Laudehr to secure a semi-final berth for the Europeans.
Brazil who ended up topping the table after more comfortable wins against Nigeria and Korea DPR, defeated Norway 2-1 in a tense quarter-final encounter to set up the semi-final rematch with Germany.
While goalkeeper Nadine Angerer has yet to concede a goal so far in the tournament, star striker Birgit Prinz has yet to score one. The Brazilian forward line, however, is displaying no such shyness in front of goal with Christiane currently the tournament's top scorer on three goals, followed closely by team-mates Marta and Daniela with two apiece. Germany coach Silvia Neid will have to do without Linda Bresonik in her attempt to thwart the Auriverde attack after the midfielder injured her ankle in the match against Sweden. The 24-year-old double world champion will now be forced to watch the rest of the tournament from the sidelines.
After seven previous encounters, Germany have yet to lose to Brazil, recording four wins and three draws all told. The two teams have met three times at previous Women's Olympic Football tournaments. In 1996 a group-stage encounter ended up 1-1, while four years later in Sydney, Germany won another group game 2-1 before going on to defeat Brazil 2-0 in the tournament's match for third place.
"The game against Brazil won't be easy as we had to play 120 minutes in our semi-final compared to Brazil's 90. We have to recuperate as quickly as possible, but we possess the required fitness and will to win," Germany coach Silvia Neid.
"We had a few problems with our finishing today and probably could have scored more goals. We'll address this problem in training ahead of the semi-final game," Brazil coach Jorge Barcellos.