TOKYO (Reuters) – World champions United States lost 3-0 to Sweden to end their 30-month streak unbeaten as the Netherlands scored 10 goals against unhappy Zambia on an exciting day as the Women’s Olympic Games kicked off. Football tournament started.
Several teams including the United States, Great Britain, Chile, Sweden and New Zealand knelt before kick-off on Wednesday in support of racial equality, while two Brazilian players broke records at the Games. Read more
In an empty stadium in Tokyo, Sweden sent four-time Olympic gold medalists to their first defeat in 45 internationals when striker Stena Blacksteinius punished the United States with a double in a Group G match.
No team has won an Olympic gold medal as world champions since women’s football debuted at the 1996 Games.
“We kicked donkeys, right?” American star and midfielder Megan Rapinoe has admitted. “I thought we were a little nervous, a little nervous about doing stupid things.”
The confrontation was a rematch in the 2016 quarter-finals, which the Scandinavians won on penalties. Read more
Orange warned the opponents after beating Zambia 10-3 in Group F, and Arsenal striker Vivian Midema scored four goals.
The Netherlands entered the first half with a 6-1 lead, but ran away from the gas in the final minutes, enabling Babra Banda to complete her hat-trick with two late goals for South Africa.
Brazil, who were chasing their first gold medal in the event, sought a 5-0 win over China with veterans Marta and Formiga writing their names in the record books.
The recipient of five record-breaking World Player of the Year awards, Marta is widely considered the greatest female footballer of all time, becoming the first female footballer to score in five consecutive Olympics, achieving two.
The 35-year-old missed an opportunity to complete her hat-trick and score her 13th Olympic goal when she stepped down to allow teammate Andressa to convert a penalty.
“There’s no vanity here, we’re a team,” Marta said.
Their 43-year-old teammate Formiga became the first footballer to appear in seven Olympics. Read more
Hosts Japan had a heated Group E battle in a 1-1 draw with Canada, whose 300th header Christine Sinclair celebrated her 187th international goal – more than any other player.
Britain’s Elaine White scored the first goal in the tournament in the 17th minute against Chile in Group E, and the Manchester City striker added another goal in the second half to achieve a dominant 2-0 victory.
Australia beat New Zealand 2-1 in today’s Group G final among the co-hosts of the 2023 World Cup.
West Ham player Tamika Yallop scored in the first half, Chelsea striker Sam Kerr scored in the first half, while Gabi Rinne denied Australia a clean sheet with a goal in stoppage time in the second half.
Additional reporting by Rohith Nair and Simon Jennings in Bengaluru. Editing by John Stonestreet
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