South Africa put in a brave defensive performance and held hosts Brazil to a goalless draw in Manaus in the last match in Group E at the Women's Olympic Football Tournament.
A sold out crowd at the Amazonia Arena came ready to support **the hosts following impressive wins over China PR and Sweden earlier in the tournament. Star player Marta was given a rest by coach Vadao. The five-time FIFA Women's World Player of the Year started as a substitute, but she came on at the start of the second half to try and lift her team to victory.
As expected, the home side had more chances, but South Africa proved that they can be dangerous and were capable of creating chances of their own. In the end, South Africa's compact and brave defence frustrated the hosts and they deservedly kept a cleansheet.
The first significant chance of the match went to South Africa when Jermaine Seoposenwe played a brilliant through ball to striker Thembi Kgatlana, who saw her poked effort blocked by Brazil goalkeeper Aline.
Brazil then had a similar chance when Raquel Fernandes made a diagonal run inside the penalty area and dribbled around South Africa goalkeeper Roxanne Barker, only for her shot at the end of her move to be stopped by recovering defenders.
In the 24th minute, Tamires tried her luck from distance but her left-footed effort from 25 yards was tipped over the bar by Barker.
Debinha came the closest to scoring in the second half when her driven shot from the edge of the penalty area hit the post. Goalkeeper Barker thought it was going wide so she moved her hands out of the way, but it was nearly the opener.
In the second half, Brazil found South Africa's compact defence difficult to breach. Several times Brazil patiently built-up from the back, but they were unable to find the decisive pass needed against a well organised South African side.
Brazil had several close chances near the end of the match, bringing everyone in the stand to their feet, but Barker and her defence were simply unbreakable on the night.
South Africa exit the tournament but will be proud of their effort in Manaus, while Brazil finish top of Group E and will play Australia in the quarter-finals in Belo Horizonte.