THE DAY REPLAYED – Twenty-two goals were scored in the opening six matches of the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament London 2012, which saw big wins for Brazil and Sweden, narrow but significant victories for hosts Great Britain and world champions Japan, and USA come from behind to defeat France 4-2. In the final game of the day, a goal in each half gave Korea DPR side a deserved three points against Colombia.
Goal of the day
Sweden–South Africa, Portia Modise (’59)
With Sweden cruising 3-0 over South Africa in the City of Coventry Stadium, en route to their biggest Olympic win, a misplaced pass from Caroline Seger to captain Nilla Fischer saw Portia Modise pounce on the ball ten yards inside her own half. Carrying it just beyond the centre-circle, she spotted Hedvig Lindahl off her line and unleashed a powerful right-footed lob which sailed beyond the keeper’s dive and into the net. “I saw early in the game that the goalkeeper’s weakness was always coming off her line,” explained Modise. “So I took a shot and it came off.”
As the British national anthem was played at the opening event of the 2012 Olympics in Cardiff, it all got too much for England’s record goalscorer Kelly Smith, whose eyes filled with tears. The forward, who has had a glittering 18-year playing career, won a race against time to be fit to appear for Team GB at the Games after aggravating a stress fracture in March.
USA–France saw a colourful atmosphere at Hampden Park with the majority of the locals opting for the game’s eventual winners. Yet there was also a local flavour as the sound of the bagpipes could be heard during the second half. “The crowd was awesome and they were really into it,” enthused USA midfielder. Megan Rapinoe
When Miko Fukumoto took off her tracksuit prior to the game against Canada, the Coventry crowd spotted that her all-magenta outfit complimented LOCOG’s colour scheme for London 2012 perfectly. “It was a complete coincidence,” she told FIFA.com afterwards. “But it obviously brought the team and I good luck, so I might keep on wearing it!”
After their fantastic dance routine at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011™, Sweden’s stars have a new party trick for London 2012: a goal celebration which saw scorer Lisa Dahlkvist push her team-mates over to create a chain reaction in which all fell to the ground in perfect sequence!
11 – Cristiane’s 78th-minute goal against Cameroon saw her leapfrog German goal machine Birgit Prinz in the all-time Olympic standings. Meanwhile, Formiga became the only player to play at all five tournaments since Atlanta 1996.
“The girls have made history today. It has been mentioned so much we couldn’t ignore it. We were the first women’s GB team ever and we won. That will never change now,” Hope Powell, Great Britain coach.
Saturday 28 July (all kick-offs local time)
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History made on opening day
FIFA.com – News
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