CHRISTIAN RADNEDGE in RIO DE JANEIRO: Canada’s Janine Beckie took only 20 seconds to break a record at the Rio 2016 Olympics as she scored the fastest goal in the history of the football competition.
The strike in São Paolo against Australia was nine seconds faster than the previous record, Oribe Peralta’s opening goal against Brazil in the men’s gold medal match at Wembley in London 2012.
Canada captain Christine Sinclair added to Beckie’s strike in the second half to cap a fine 2-0 win over the Soccerroos.
Meanwhile, the United States world champions continued their winning streak in the Olympics by beating New Zealand 2-0 in Belo Horizonte thanks to goals from Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan.
Goalkeeper Hope Solo was subjected to boos from the Brazilian crowd due to her previous outspoken comments about her fear of travelling to South America because of the zika virus.
Head coach Jill Ellis acknowledged the chants but said that it would not have any affect on the players’ mindset.
Ellis said: “Hope has apologised to the Brazilian people. Sometimes mistakes are made. We are used to getting booed in other countries.”
In Rio’s Olympic Stadium there was much to celebrate for Brazil as the home side comfortably overcame China 3-0.
Marta pulled the strings as Monica, Alves and Cristiane all scored for the hosts, putting them top of Group E after the day’s earlier match saw Sweden narrowly beat South Africa 1-0 in front of a sparse crowd.
Organisers claimed the attendance was 13,439 for that match but it looked much less at kick-off.
It was a bad day for African teams as Olympic debutants Zimbabwe were thrashed 6-1 by Germany. Goals from Sara Dabritz, Alexandra Popp, Melanie Leupolz and two from Melanie Behringer all came before an own goal from Zimbabwe’s Eunice Chibanda to extend the scoreline.
Kudakwashe Bosopo scored a consolation for Zimbabwe in the 50th minute.
The final game of the day saw another rout as France overcame Colombia 4-0 in Group G. An early own goal from Carolina Arias set the Europeans on their way, before Eugenie le Sommer, Camille Abily and Amel Majri all got on the scoresheet.