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Olympic Quarterfinals Preview

08/12/2016 8:18 AM -

OLYMPIC QUARTERFINALS PREVIEW

THREE CURRENT PLAYERS, ELEVEN FORMER WNY FLASH PLAYERS ADVANCE TO KNOCKOUT ROUNDS

 

BUFFALO, NY (August 12, 2016) --- The 2016 Olympic Games have been moving along rather quickly, and we find ourselves starting the knockout stages today when the Quarterfinals begin at 12:00 ET. Out of the twelve nations that began the tournament, only eight remain.

The Flash have three current players – Sabrina D’Angelo (Canada), Alanna Kennedy (Australia) and Samantha Mewis (USA Alternate) - left in competition after starting the tournament with four. Captain Abby Erceg and her New Zealand squad were bounced after a 3-0 loss to France on Tuesday evening.

In addition to the three current competitors, the Flash find themselves with eleven alumni competing.

Here’s a quick preview of the today’s quarterfinal matches:

 

The Bracket

New Zealand (3 pts), Colombia (1 pt), South Africa (1 pt), and Zimbabwe (0 pts) all did not advance to the knockout stages, so there will be four quarterfinal matches played today between the eight remaining nations.

 

USA v SWEDEN: 12:00 ET on NBCSN

The day will begin with Group G winner USA facing off against Sweden, who used a 0-0 tie against China to advance and knock out New Zealand. The match kicks off at 12:00 PM ET in Brasília. Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha, the location for today’s match, sits in the fourth most-populated city in Brazil and seats about 70,000 people.

The top-ranked American side features four former Flash players: Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, Meghan Klingenberg and Whitney Engen. Samantha Mewis, a current Flash player, is an alternate who traveled with the team to Brazil but will not dress.

Sweden’s side features former Flash midfielder Caroline Seger, who currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain in France. Seger has played all 270 possible minutes for the Swedish team, who finished group play at 1-1-1.

 

GERMANY v CHINA: 3:00 ET on nbcolympics.com

Both teams playing in the second quarterfinal of the day finished in second in their respective groups, as both ended up 1-1-1 after group play. Germany, despite being ranked second in the world rankings, has been struggling on the defensive end after allowing two goals in the loss to Canada and their draw against Australia. China has also been struggling, as they were held scoreless in two of their group play matches. The Flash do not have any current or former players on either team's roster.

The match will be held at the Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova on the east coast of Brazil in Salvador. Kick off is slated for 3:00 ET on nbcolympics.com.

 

CANADA v FRANCE: 6:00 ET on CNBC

Canada has been thriving in Brazil, winning all three of their group stage matches in spectacular fashion. Flash goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo saw the field against Zimbabwe in the Canadian’s 3-1 win, but Stephanie Labbé has started the other two group games. The team finished +5 in goal differential and was the only team to sweep their respective group in round robin play. Led by former Flash star Christine Sinclair, the Canadians are vying for a medal but will have to defeat a mighty French squad in the quarterfinals to do so.

The French have been very good, themselves, in Rio. They easily defeated Colombia and New Zealand in group play, and looked like the better team for portions of their match against the United States. Canada will need a good performance from Sinclair, who has two goals in three games, and the high-power Canadian offense to advance.

The match will be held at Arena Corinthians in São Paulo, Brazil at 6:00 ET. CNBC will be streaming the match nation-wide.

 

AUSTRALIA v BRAZIL: 9:00 ET on NBCSN

The Matildas have struggled thus far in the Olympics, but they started to gain ground in their final match against Zimbabwe as the Aussies excelled in the 6-1 rout. Flash defender Alanna Kennedy has played all possible 270 minutes for Australia and scored a goal on a header from a corner kick against Zimbabwe. In addition to Kennedy, Australia’s side features four former flash players in Emily van Egmond, Michelle Heyman, Samantha Kerr, and Lydia Williams. The Aussies have all the tools to advance to the semifinals, but will have to beat a ferocious Brazil side that has looked like the best team of the tournament at times.

Led by former Flash star Marta, the Brazilians have throttled their way to a +7 goal differential and dominated their first two matches against China and Sweden before sitting their starters in a scoreless draw against South Africa. Marta has two goals for the host country, who have only allowed one goal in their three round robin matches.

The match may be the best of the day, and it will kick off at 9:00 ET on NBCSN. The match will be played at the historic Mineirão in Belo Horizonte.

 

The four winners of today’s matches will advance to the semifinals on Tuesday afternoon. The winner of USA/SWE will face the winner of BRA/AUS in Rio de Janeiro, while the winner of CAN/FRA will take on the winter of CHI/GER in Belo Horizonte.

The gold medal match will be held at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 19th. The Maracanã Stadium is also where the Opening Ceremony was held.

 

The Flash are in the middle of the National Women’s Soccer League season, but league play has been paused for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. The Flash are training in Long Island and will face Stony Brook University’s women’s soccer team tonight at 7:00 p.m. ET before returning to Western New York to resume normal activities. The friendly will be played at Stony Brook’s LaValle Stadium.

The Flash will return to NWSL action when they host the Houston Dash at Rhinos Stadium in Rochester, NY, for the annual Pink Game. The match is set to kick off at 7:00 p.m. ET. Tickets for the match are available at wnyflash.com/tickets.

The first 500 fans at the Pink Game will receive “Thundersticks” courtesy of UR Medicine. Following the conclusion of the game, the Flash will be raffling game-worn jerseys and other items from both teams to benefit the Cancer Couch. For more information or to donate to the Cancer Couch, visit thecancercouch.com/



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