Sat | Jul 21, 2018

Winning start for hosts

Published:Thursday | August 4, 2016 | 12:00 AM


The first Olympics in Brazil are under way - aptly with soccer games in the sport's spiritual home and a win for the hosts.

In Rio de Janeiro's Olympic Stadium, the Brazilian women's team eased to a 3-0 victory at the start of their quest for a first Olympic gold.

It's an early sporting high for Brazil, where reservations about the cost of bringing the Olympics to South America for the first time have produced violent reactions.

As the Olympic torch relay, which began with a ceremonial lighting in Ancient Olympia in April, reached Rio, there were fresh signs that strife could disrupt the Games.

Police used tear gas to break up protests against salary delays for public workers.




But there was cause for celebrations on the football field as headers from Monica and Cristiane either side of Andressa Alves' 59th-minute strike secured Brazil's opening win over China.

The Olympic Stadium was fuller than earlier in the day when Sweden beat South Africa 1-0 in the other Group E game, but the majority of seats did not appear to be filled.

The soccer in Sao Paulo saw a piece of Olympic history created by Canada. Janine Beckie took only 20 seconds to make a mark on her third Summer Games by scoring the fastest goal ever at the Olympics in a 2-0 win over Australia. It was nine seconds faster than Oribe Peralta's strike for Mexico in the men's gold medal match against Brazil four years ago in London.

Canada had to cope from the 19th minute with only 10 women after Shelina Zadorsky was sent off for dragging down Michelle Heyman on her way to goal. But Canada still prevented Australia from equalising, and captain Christine Sinclair added a second in the 78th.