Great Britain women were left “devastated” after their bid for Olympic soccer glory was ended by Australia in an agonising 4-3 defeat after extra-time.
A last-gasp equaliser and a missed penalty cost Team GB a place in the semi-finals after Ellen White’s double had give them a 2-1 lead going into the final minute of normal time.
But a defensive lapse at the death allowed Sam Kerr to haul Australia level and take the match to extra-time.
Caroline Weir then missed from the spot before goals from Mary Fowler and Kerr sent the Brits spinning out, with White completing her hat-trick in vain.
“We are devastated right now. It is hard to lose a game like this,” said head coach Hege Riise.
“We were well prepared. I think we played most of the game quite well. We created a lot of chances, probably should have finished a few of them. Now it’s quite hard. We are all devastated.”
“We win and we lose together,” added Riise. “So there is no one to blame. We stood up and we fight together and it wasn’t enough from any of us. So we are disappointed that we couldn’t get the fourth goal and take it to penalties.”
Defender Leah Williamson was left to reflect on a missed opportunity. She said: “It’s hard because this team isn’t a permanent thing. We come together once every Olympics if we’re lucky. Everyone takes so much pride in that.
“I’ll take so much pride forever that I was able to put on that shirt and play for this team as I’m sure the others are too. You have to take all of that.
“But we didn’t just want to come here and celebrate being Olympians. We wanted to win.”
The United States and Canada set up a mouth-watering semi-final with both teams having prevailed in penalty shootouts.
After the U.S. and the Netherlands were locked at 2-2 following 90 minutes and extra time, Dutch striker Vivianne Miedema and defender Aniek Nouwen had their spot kicks saved by goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher as the Americans won 4-2.
Megan Rapinoe made it four out of four from the spot for the four-time gold medallists.
Miedema had scored twice for the Dutch, taking her tournament record tally to 10.
The Netherlands had the perfect opportunity to seal victory in the 81st minute when Kelley O'Hara gave away a penalty but Lieke Martens' shot was saved by Naeher.
"This team always believes we will find a way to win," Naeher said. "The way this team came together, kept fighting, playing for each other, pushing and pushing and pushing for 120 minutes.
"That was a true team effort and team win."
Australia next face Sweden, who maintained their perfect record in the tournament with a 3-1 win over hosts Japan.
Canada needed goalkeeping heroics of their own to reach the semi-finals for the third consecutive Games as Stephanie Labbe stopped two Brazilian spot kicks en route to a 4-3 shootout win.
After Canada captain Christine Sinclair's penalty was saved by Barbara, Labbe rescued her side with two spectacular stops to keep out Brazil's final two spot kicks from Andressa and Rafaelle.
Labbe, who made four crucial saves in a goalless 120 minutes at Miyagi Stadium, did well to stay on the field after falling hard at the end of the second half of extra time.
The Rosengard goalkeeper's impressive display ensured Brazil were denied another crack at the gold medal, having claimed silver in 2004 and 2008.
Goals from Magdalena Eriksson, Stina Blackstenius and Kosovare Asllani ensured Sweden's bid to improve on their Rio 2016 silver medal remained intact.