In the first semi-final of the day Team GB took on Brazil, the spiritual home of beach sports. This was the first time that the pair have ever faced each other in a competitive international.
Brazil’s Nayara opened the scoring when her powerful shot beat Hannah Haughton in the GB goal. Things went from bad to worse for GB when Adriele doubled Brazil’s lead from close range.
Sarah Kempson pulled one back for Team GB when scored an absolutely beautiful finish.
Brazil re-established control of the game when Dani scored a spectacular overhead volley to make the score 3-1.
The ‘see-saw’ scoring continued though the former Spurs player, Wendy Martin, headed it in to reduce the deficit to one goal again.
Late in the second period, Lorena converted a penalty for Brazil which must have been deflating for Team GB as they were behind yet again.
A fifth goal from Jasna effective killed the game as a contest, although someone forgot to tell Perry Northeast’s ladies that. Their heads didn’t drop and a superb Gemma Hillier bicycle kick gave GB the belief that there was still time for them to turn this around.
Wendy Martin pulled another goal back so there was only one goal into it. Martin completed her hat-trick with a penalty. Brazil had let their three-goal lead slip and meant that we went into the closing minutes knowing that the next goal could guarantee either side a silver medal at the very least.
Step up for Sarah Kempson, the former Lewes midfielder hit a freekick from her own area which went in off the post. A goal worthy of winning such a high stakes match!
Brazil pushed for another equaliser but Portsmouth’s Hannah Haughton was equal to anything that Brazil could throw at her. When the final whistle went it was GB’s cue for wild (and much deserved) celebrations.
Team GB’s heroic performance means that they will face a very impressive Spain side in a fight for the gold.