Olympics (Women): Day One Round-Up

Arcos_Olímpicos_-_Parque_de_Madureira,_RJHeading into Day Two of the preliminary group stage of the Women’s Olympic tournament, here’s a quick round-up of what you missed on Day One.

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Sweden 1 – South Africa 0. I know that some might say the same of the US, but Pia Sundhage’s Sweden are an easy team to root against. Despite being the clearly superior side, Sweden were cautious enough to keep South Africa in the game throughout, scoring only on a goalkeeper’s error by South Africa’s Roxy Barker. One can only hope they will be the lowest scoring 3rd place side.

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Canada 2 – Australia 0. The best game of the opening day, Canada produced the earliest goal and red card in Olympic history (Men’s and Women’s), then held on in the one evenly matched game of the opening round. Australia’s Alen Stajcic oddly left star striker Lisa De Vanna on the bench until the 61st minute after removing Samantha Kerr, by far his most promising attacking player in the first half, at halftime. Having gifted Janine Beckie the opening goal, Christine Sinclair scored the late second herself, securing an impressive 10-woman victory.

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Germany 6 – Zimbabwe 1. Zimbabwe did a better job than the score indicated, holding Germany to two goals in the first half and even pulling one back with a historic tap-in by Kudakwashe Basopo, following up on a Rutendo Makore shot early in the second half. But Germany responded almost immediately off a free kick to retore their two-goal lead, and added three more in the final twelve minutes. Australia will be a better measuring stick.

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China 0 – Brazil 3. A comfortable win for Brazil, as China shows they are still along way from competing at the elite level. Marta played well, as did second half substitute Andressinha. Their combination leading to Andressa Alves’s goal was the highlight of the game, while Andressinha picked up an assist of her own on the free kick that Cristiane headed in to score her 13th career Olympic goal, tying the career tournament record shared by Sophus Nielsen and Antal Dunai in the Men’s competition.

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United States 2 – New Zealand 0. See my separate post on the game.

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France 4 – Colombia 0. This was no repeat of Colombia’s dramatic World Cup victory. France won the game in the first half and cruised in the second. Eugenie Le Sommer created the opening own goal and poached a second in open play, while Camille Abily and, late on, Amel Majri added two more from free kicks. Colombia are without striker Yoreli Rincon, recovering from a broken leg.

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