Sweden kick off Games with 1-0 win over South Africa

Sweden’s women claimed the first victory of the tournament 1-0 over South Africa in an underwhelming start to the Games earlier on Wednesday.

Nilla Fischer bundled home after South African goalkeeper Roxanne Barker fumbled a cross for the only goal of the game.

“It is a great feeling to have a big crowd, but today for us it was only about football, winning 1-0, and moving forward,” said Sweden coach Pia Sundhage in response to the paltry attendance.

“We didn’t play the way we should have and we didn’t play well but I am very satisfied with the result.”

Hundreds of thousands of football tickets remain unsold for both the men’s and women’s football tournaments that are being staged in six cities across Brazil that also hosted the 2014 World Cup.

World champions the United States begin their campaign later in Belo Horizonte against New Zealand before Colombia and France also face off in Group G.

Canada beat Australia 2-0 in a battle between two quarterfinalists from last year’s World Cup despite playing 70 minutes with 10 men to top Group F.

Janine Beckie gave the Canadians an incredible start with the fastest goal in women’s Olympic history after just 19 seconds.

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Shelina Zadorsky was then sent off for denying Michelle Heyman a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Australia missed a host of chances to make their numerical superiority count, whilst Beckie also saw a penalty saved for Canada.

However, Canada’s veteran captain Christine Sinclair made it 2-0 with her 162nd international goal from fully 40 yards after rounding Aussie ‘keeper Lydia Williams.

Two-time world champions Germany are expected to ease past Zimbabwe in the other game in the group later in Sao Paulo.

© AFP

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