Rio Olympics: Games begin with Sweden winning in women’s football event

Abuja, – The Rio 2016 Olympic Games got underway on Wednesday with a women’s football match played in front of a sparse Olympic Stadium crowd.

Sweden won 1-0 against South Africa in the competition’s opening game before host nation Brazil beat China 3-0.

Plenty of empty seats could be seen in the 60,000 venue at kick-off, although more fans arrived before Brazil’s game.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the football tournament has started two days before Friday’s opening ceremony because of a packed schedule.

Sweden, who are ranked sixth in the world, earned a narrow win when Nilla Fischer bundled in a second-half goal after a goalkeeping mistake.

Brazil, who lost at the quarter-final stage of the London 2012 Games, were comfortable winners with goals from Monica, Andressa Alves and Cristiane.

Striker Marta — who did not add to her 102 goals in 104 caps — said: “Scoring three times against a team like China, with all the pressure we had, I think it’s super-perfect.”

Canada’s Janine Beckie scored after just 20 seconds against Australia, the fastest goal in Olympic women’s football history, as they won 2-0.

The U.S. are widely considered to be the favourites to win the competition — which has no age limits.

This was after claiming gold in London 2012 and also winning last year’s World Cup.

NAN reports that the men’s competition, which is contested by under-23 teams, starts on Thursday.(NAN)

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