Sweden end US unbeaten run, Dutch put 10 past Zambia

Americans lose for the first time in 30 months

Tierna Davidson of Team United States battles for possession with Madelen Janogy #7 of Team Sweden during the Women's First Round Group G match between Sweden and United States during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Stadium on July 21, 2021 in Chofu, Tokyo, Japan.
Tierna Davidson of Team United States battles for possession with Madelen Janogy #7 of Team Sweden during the Women's First Round Group G match between Sweden and United States during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Stadium on July 21, 2021 in Chofu, Tokyo, Japan.
Image: Dan Mullan

Tokyo - World champions the United States were dealt a 3-0 drubbing by Sweden to end a 30-month unbeaten run, and the Netherlands put 10 goals past a hapless Zambia on a day of drama as the Olympics women's soccer tournament kicked off.

Several teams including the US, Britain, Chile, Sweden and New Zealand took the knee before yesterday's kickoffs in support of racial equality, while two Brazil veterans set Games records.

In an empty Tokyo Stadium, Sweden sent the four-times Olympic gold medallists to their first defeat in 45 international matches, with forward Stina Blackstenius punishing sloppy U.S. play with a double in their Group G clash.

No team has ever won Olympic gold while world champion since women's football made its Games debut in 1996.

"We got our asses kicked, didn't we?" admitted US midfielder and star player Megan Rapinoe. "I thought we were a little tight, a little nervous, just doing dumb stuff".

The Dutch served a clear warning to rivals with a 10-3 thrashing of Zambia in Group F, with Arsenal forward Vivianne Miedema scoring four times.

The Netherlands went into the interval with a 6-1 lead but took their foot off the gas in the closing stages, allowing Babra Banda to complete her hat-trick with two late goals for the southern African side.

Brazil, seeking their first gold medal in the event, hammered China 5-0 with veterans Marta and Formiga writing their names into the record books.

Marta, widely regarded as the greatest women's footballer of all time with a record five World Player of the Year awards, became the first footballer to score in five consecutive Olympic Games, netting twice.

The 35-year-old passed up on the chance to complete her hat-trick and score her 13th Olympic goal, when she stepped aside to allow team mate Andressa to convert a penalty.

"There's no vanity here, we're a team," Marta said.

Their 43-year-old team mate Formiga became the first footballer to appear in seven Olympic Games.

Hosts Japan put up a spirited fight in Group E to draw 1-1 with Canada, whose forward Christine Sinclair celebrated her 300th cap with her 187th international goal - more than any other player. 

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