Tokyo Olympics football round-up: record-breaking Marta, USA thrashed - in pictures

Brazil legend becomes first woman to score in five consecutive Games, while Americans see 44-game unbeaten run coming crashing to halt

The women's football tournament kicked-off at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday with Brazil's Marta firing her way into the record books, while the mighty USA were humbled by Sweden.

At the Miyagi Stadium in Rifu, Marta became the first woman footballer to score in five consecutive Olympic Games when she bagged a brace in Brazil's 5-0 Group F battering of China.

The 35-year-old scored her first Olympic goal in Athens in 2004 and, following her latest double salvo, now has 12 Games strikes. The 35-year-old opened the scoring in the Group F clash in the ninth minute when she arrived late in the box and pounced on a rebound. Debinha made it 2-0 in the 22nd minute.

Marta added her second with a low drive from a tight angle in the 74th minute before forward Andressa converted a penalty with eight minutes to go. Beatriz completed the rout in the 89th minute after latching on to a low cross to beat the goalkeeper with a first-time effort.

Their 43-year-old teammate Formiga also wrote her name into the record books by becoming the first women's footballer to take part in seven Olympic Games.

There was a huge shock in Group G when world champions USA — unbeaten in 44 games going into the Olympics — were hammered 3-0 by Sweden at the Tokyo Stadium in their opening match.

Striker Stina Blackstenius scored either side of the break in the Group G clash — her first came when she beat Abby Dahlkemper to Sofia Jakobsson's cross and steered home a glancing header.

Blackstenius' second came when she stabbed into the roof of the net after Amanda Ilestedt's header bounced back off post.

Sweden ensured there would be no way back for the US as substitute Hurtig rose to nod in a Hanna Glas delivery with 18 minutes left to condemn the Americans to a humbling defeat.

The US, who go on to play New Zealand and Australia in their next two group games, had not lost since going down 3-1 to France in a friendly in January 2019.

In Group E, Team GB started their campaign with a comfortable 2-0 win over Chile, with Manchester City striker Ellen White scoring both goals at the Sapporo Dome.

The first came after 18 minutes when Lucy Bronze’s deep cross was nodded back by Lauren Hemp and White cashed in from six yards.

Chile offered little threat, with Ellie Roebuck a second-half spectator in goal, and White added a second with 17 minutes left. Her flick was laid off to Bronze by Nikita Parris and Bronze crossed for White to acrobatically volley in from six yards.

Team GB now face the hosts Japan in Sapporo on Saturday before playing Canada in Kashima to complete their group-stage fixtures next Tuesday. Manager Hege Riise said: "We have been waiting for this game a long time and we were so eager to get started. Get a good start, get a win, keep them away from our goal, score two goals — it’s a good statement for the games coming up.”

Updated: July 21st 2021, 11:44 AM
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