Even before the opening ceremony, the Olympics have already kicked off with the women’s football tournament and six matches, highlighted by Great Britain beating New Zealand 1-0, Brazil destroying Cameroon 5-0 and the USA, favorites for gold, coming back from 0-2 down to beat Japan 4-2. North Korea also made an opening splash by refusing to play before the correct flag was shown.
Great Britain 1 New Zealand 0
Just under 25,000 fans showed up at the Millenium stadium in Cardiff to support the host nation making their first ever appearance in the Olympic games. Steph Houghton of Arsenal Ladies (who else) scored the only goal of the match for team GB in the 64th minute.
Cameroon 0 Brazil 5
Cameroon made their debut in the Olympic games against the Silver medalists from Athens and Beijing, which weren’t very soft or welcoming to the African ladies. Marta, as expected, the biggest star in the world of Women’s football, playing her club football in the United States, scored twice in the romp.
Japan 2 Canada 1
In the biggest match of the opening day, World Champions Japan fought off a serious rival with goals from Nhaomi Kawasumi and Aya Miyama, while Melissa Tancredi kept Canada in the match for the final 35 minutes.
Sweden 4 South Africa 1
The team that finished third in the 2011 World Cup and reached the quarter finals in the previous Olympic games got off to a fantastic start, leading 3-0 after 21 minutes and Lotta Schelin, playing for the empire of Lyon in France for his club football, scoring twice.
United States 4 France 2
The Americans, gold medalists in 2004 & 2008 got through quite a scare in the opener to yet another Olympic tournament seeing them as favorites from the start. Gaetane Thiney and Maire-Laure Delie scored twice in the space of three minutes to give France a shocking 2-0 lead after 14 minutes. The American power and quality was too much in the second half, coming back to 2-2 at half time and eventually a 4-2 win with Alex Morgan scoring twice.
Colombia 0 North Korea 2
Kim Song-Hui scored twice for North Koreans in a match that will mostly be remembered for the Asian ladies refusing to go on the pitch for more than an hour (or ordered not to…) as the first f’ up of the Olympic games occured, raising the South Korean flag instead of the North Korean flag before the match began.