TOKYO (Reuters) – World champion USA lost 3-0 to Sweden to end their 30-month unbeaten streak as the Netherlands scoring 10 goals against hapless Zambia in one matchday dramatic at the start of the Women’s Olympics. The football tournament has started.
Several teams including the United States, Great Britain, Chile, Sweden and New Zealand knelt ahead of kick-off on Wednesday in support of racial equality, while two Brazilian veterans broke records games. Read more
At an empty stadium in Tokyo, Sweden sent the quadruple Olympic gold medalists to their first loss in 45 caps when forward Stena Plaxtenius punished the United States with a brace in the Group G game.
No team has ever won an Olympic gold medal as a world champion since women’s football made its debut at the 1996 Games.
“We kicked the donkeys, didn’t we? American star and midfielder Megan Rapinoe admitted it. “I thought we were a little nervous, a little nervous about doing stupid things.”
The showdown was a rematch in the 2016 quarter-finals, which the Scandinavians won on penalties. Read more
Orange warned rivals after a 10-3 win over Zambia in Group F and Arsenal forward Vivian Miedema scored four goals.
The Netherlands entered the first half with a 6-1 lead, but pulled away from the gas in the dying minutes, allowing Babra Banda to complete their hat-trick with two goals behind for South Africa.
Brazil, chasing their first gold in the event, were aiming for a 5-0 victory over China with veterans Marta and Formiga writing their names in the record books.
With five record-breaking World Player of the Year awards, Marta is widely regarded as the greatest female soccer player of all time, becoming the first female soccer player to score in five consecutive Olympic Games, achieving two.
The 35-year-old missed the opportunity to complete her hat trick and score her 13th Olympic goal when she stepped down to allow teammate Andresa to convert a penalty.
“There is no vanity here, we are a team,” Marta said.
Their 43-year-old teammate Formiga became the first footballer to compete in seven Olympics. Read more
Host Japan fought an uphill battle in Group E to a 1-1 draw against Canada, whose 300th seed Christine Sinclair celebrated her 187th international goal – more than any other player.
Britain’s Ellen White scored the tournament’s first goal in the 17th minute against Chile in Group E, and the Manchester City forward added another goal in the second half to win 2-0.
Australia beat New Zealand 2-1 in today’s Group G final between the 2023 World Cup co-hosts.
West Ham’s Tamika Yallop scored in the first half and Chelsea striker Sam Kerr scored in the first half, while Gabi Rinney deprived Australia of a shutout with a goal in the stoppage time in the second half.
Additional reporting by Rohith Nair and Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by John Stonestreet
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