Jubilant Swedish Players                                                                        Image:

The Rio 2016 Olympic Games got underway on Wednesday with a women’s football match played in front of a sparse Olympic Stadium crowd.

Sweden won 1-0 against South Africa in the competition’s opening game before host nation Brazil beat China 3-0.

Plenty of empty seats could be seen in the 60,000-venue at kick-off, although more fans arrived before Brazil’s game.

The football tournament started two days before Friday’s opening because of a packed schedule.

Sweden, who are ranked sixth in the world, earned a narrow win when Nilla Fischer bundled in a second-half goal after a goalkeeping mistake.

Brazil, who lost at the quarter-final stage of the London 2012 Games, were comfortable winners with goals from Monica, Andressa Alves and Cristiane.

Striker Marta — who did not add to her 102 goals in 104 caps, — said: “Scoring three times against a team like China, with all the pressure we had, I think it’s super-perfect.’’

Canada’s Janine Beckie scored after just 20 seconds against Australia, the fastest goal in Olympic women’s football history, as they won 2-0.

The U.S. are widely considered to be the favourites to win the competition — which has no age limits.

This was after claiming gold in London 2012 and also winning last year’s World Cup.

The men’s competition, which is contested by Under-23 teams, starts on Thursday.

Author: Cerebral Lemon