The Rio Olympics silver medallist Sweden pricked the pride of the world’s top ranked team, the United States of America by demolishing the latter 3-0 in the first round of the women’s football in Tokyo Olympics.
What Sweden did more with its dominant showing at the Tokyo Stadium on Wednesday was ending an incredible 44-match unbeaten run for the United States. The defeat, which was the first since January 2019, was a big surprise of the four time Olympic and World champion which had been the pre-tournament favourite to regain the gold.
Sweden also put a strong statement about its quest for the gold as its doughty striker Stina Blackstenius found the back of the United States net twice while Lina Hurtig added the third to complete the rout.
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The other group G match saw the Australian eves prevailing over their Oceania neighbour New Zealand 2-1 to set up a strong the contest for the quarterfinal slots. Sweden plays Australia next while the United States takes on New Zealand at Saitama on July 24.
The Netherlands scored the biggest win of the day drowning the qualifier from Africa, Zambia 10-3. The 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup runner-up was definitely in imperious form in the group F match where Vivianne Miedema scorched the turf scoring four goals.
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The Arsenal women’s team forward completed her hat-trick by the 29th minute before scoring the fourth in the 59th minute and set the Netherlands on the path to a huge win, at the Miyagi Stadium in Rifu. Lieke Martens added two more to the Dutch tally while Janice van de Sanden, Jill Roord, Lineth Beerensteyn and Victoria Pelova scored one each.
Barbra Banda scored all the three goals for Zambia but her hat-trick went in vain against the mountain of goals set up by the Dutch women. Brazil also made a strong start in the same group thrashing China, the qualifier from Asia, 5-0. The next round will see an interesting clash as the Netherlands take on Brazil in a virtual fight to decide the group topper.
The results: Women’s football, Group league round 1:
|Group E (Sapporo Dome): Great Britain bt Chile 2-0, Japan drew with Canada 1-1.
Group F (Miyagi Stadium): Brazil bt China 5-0, Netherlands bt Zambia 10-3.
Group G (Tokyo Stadium): Sweden bt United States 3-0, Australia bt New Zealand 2-1.