Team GB were dumped out of the Olympics at the quarter-final stage after a pulsating 4-3 extra-time defeat against old foes Australia on Friday.
Hege Riise’s side twice hit the woodwork early on as Keira Walsh struck the post before Rachel Daly’s cross floated over Australia goalkeeper Teagan Micah and skimmed off the crossbar, but they fell behind as Alanna Kennedy powered a thumping header beyond the reach of Ellie Roebuck.
Team GB continued to press for an equaliser and they were rewarded as Ellen White produced an even better header than Kennedy’s opener to loop the ball over Micah and into the back of the net, but they almost immediately fell behind as Steph Houghton fired the ball against her own crossbar.
White was once again the hero with just 25 minutes to play as she battled for the ball in the area before reacting to her own knockdown and smashing the ball home to make it 2-1 to Team GB.
Australia threw everything they had at their opponents as they went in search of an equaliser and Sam Kerr’s 89th-minute strike levelled the scores to send the game into extra time.
Caroline Weir was handed the chance to restore her side’s lead in extra time but she was denied from the spot, and just minutes later Mary Fowler’s deflected effort found its way past Roebuck as Australia edged ahead before Kerr’s second of the game seemed to put the result beyond doubt.
Team GB weren’t finished yet as White completed a brilliant hat-trick with five minutes to play, but her efforts were to be in vain as Australia progressed to the semi-final with a 4-3 win.
And breathe. That’s the match highlights out of the way, now to those Team GB player ratings…
Ellie Roebuck (GK) – 6/10 – Precious little she could do about any of the four Australia strikes. Communicated well with her backline throughout the contest.
Lucy Bronze (RB) – 6/10 – Picked up a needless first-half booking after she lunged in to try and recover her loose touch. Hugely unlucky to see her attempted block only divert the ball past Roebuck as Australia grabbed a 3-2 extra-time lead.
Steph Houghton (CB) – 7/10 – Very luck to escape without punishment as she needlessly lashed at the ball and struck her own crossbar. Put the near miss behind her and performed well on the whole.
Leah Williamson (CB) – 6/10 – Some poor defending from the Arsenal centre-back in the build-up to Australia’s opener. Looked to atone for her error by stepping out of defence and opening up the play with some decent passing.
Demi Stokes (LB) – 7/10 – Some great defending in the wide areas as she used her pace to full effect. Did her best to deny Australia the chance to swing crosses into the box.
Kim Little (CM) – 7/10 – Swung a brilliant cross into the box shortly after her side had conceded the opener but White was unable to get on the end of it. Went under the radar a little with some tireless work in the middle of the pitch.
Caroline Weir (CM) – 5/10 – The Manchester City midfielder looked a class above with the ball at her feet but she was crowded out all too often. Poor penalty in extra time which was comfortably saved.
Keira Walsh (CM) – 7/10 – Unfortunate not to open the scoring with an early strike which struck the post. Displayed some lovely touches in the midfield and was a menace all game.
Rachel Daly (RW) – 6/10 – Almost got very luck as her cross looped on to the top of the crossbar. Replaced in the second half as her influence on the game started to wane.
Ellen White (ST) – 9/10 – Started to grow frustrated as the game wore on and was guilty of dropping too deep at times. Pushed much further forward in the second half and was rewarded with a brilliant hat-trick. Didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.
Lauren Hemp (LW) – 8/10 – The livewire in the Team GB frontline. Always looked dangerous whenever she got the ball onto her cultured left foot and her brilliant assist saw Team GB draw level.
Millie Bright (CB) – 7/10
Fran Kirby (RW) – 6/10
Jill Scott (CM) – 6/10
Nikita Parris (ST) – 7/10
Sophie Ingle (CM) – 6/10
Georgia Stanway (ST) – N/A