Guest Author - Alice Jones
Olympic Soccer 2008 begins.
The number of teams in the Olympic Women's Soccer tournament has been increased to 12 for these Bejing Olympics. The games in the Women's competition will be played between 6th and 21st August with four groups of four teams. In each group the top two teams will progress to the knockout stages, until there is a winner.
Two days before the Olympics 2008 is officially open, the soccer tournament began. The Women's event kicked off Tuesday and the men's event was today. In the Women's competition, tournament hosts China celebrated a 2-1 victory over Sweden in the opening game. Xu Yuan put China ahea before Lotta Schelin equalised for Sweden. Han Duan's scored the winner in the 72nd minute for her 101st international goal and to put China ahead of their group.
World Champions Germany played their first game against Brazil, the team that they had beaten 2-0 in an exciting game last season to win the World Cup. This time the match did not live up to expectations, producing a 0-0 draw.
Meanwhile, the shock of the day came when Norway beat the defending Olympic champions the United States. Laursen Kaurin and Melissa Wiik scored the goals within the first four minutes and the game did not produce any further goals after that. Kaurin's goal in under 2 minutes broke the record for the fastest-ever goal in the Women's Olympic Football tournament.
In the other games, Canada beat Argentina 2-1,North Korea beat Nigeria 1-0 and Japan drew 2-2 with New Zealand.
Here are the full results.
Germany 0-0 Brazil
Japan 2-2 New Zealand
Argentina 1-2 Canada
China 2-1 Sweden
Norway 2-0 USA
North Korea 1-0 Nigeria
The men's tournament began on Thursday and a full report will follow soon.