Rio 2016: Sundhage proud of underdog Sweden

Sweden's performance in eliminating host Brazil at Rio 2016 left coach Pia Sundhage filled with pride.

Pia Sundhage was left emotional after guiding Sweden to the final of the Rio 2016 women's soccer tournament Tuesday.

Sweden provided the shock of the competition when it knocked out the two-time defending champion U.S. side — which was coached by Sundhage in 2008 and 2012 — in the quarterfinals on penalties last week.

The Swedes were the underdogs once again when they tackled host Brazil in the semifinals, but held their nerve to seal a second shootout win. 

Now Sundhage is on the verge of winning a third straight Olympic gold medal as a coach, and she could not be prouder of her players.

"It is very emotional. I have been to the Olympic finals in Beijing [2008] and London [2012] but then I had a team everybody expected to do well," she said. "If you look at the road we have taken with the team we have it's been a wonderful trip. We've made two upsets, but we will make sure that we will do our best.

"It is a different way we are playing, I have to say that. With the U.S. team it was attacking football. Great personalities in the box. Now it is the other way round. It is very different, but emotionally I am filling up. It is hard to believe the fact that Sweden are going to be playing in the final — phew."

Sundhage was also asked about comments made by U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo, who labeled the Swedish style of play as cowardly. 

"Football is so much more than a comment here and there. It is more of our road that we have taken and the fact that the U.S. team has always been winning a medal, and we were very proud of the fact that it was us playing the semi and now the final and not the U.S.," she said. "What people are saying, it is not a big deal as very often you say it and sometimes I don't even think you mean it. We don't make a big thing of it, we talk about football."