Wednesday 03 August 2016, 21:51

Hosts Brazil cruise to opening victory

Brazil began their quest for gold at their home Women's Olympic Football Tournament with a comfortable 3-0 victory against China PR at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Defender Monica opened the scoring in the first half before Andressa Alves finished off a fine move, with Cristiane sealing the victory with a late header.

The opening period saw complete domination by the hosts, with wave after wave of yellow flooding forwards in attack. Cristiane was denied on a number of occasions, most notably she saw an acrobatic volley saved well by Zhao Lina before Tan Ruyin cleared off the line from another chance.

No China PR defender could stop La Canarinha taking the lead with half-time approaching. A set-piece into the Chinese penalty area was not properly cleared and the ball found its way to Monica, who headed home powerfully from the edge of the box.

It was more of the same in the second half, with Brazil piling forwards in numbers. Fabiana, impressive in her wingplay throughout the game, had a long-range effort tipped over the bar by Zhao Lina.

It was to be a combination of new and old blood that saw Vadao's side increase their advantage. Andressa, introduced as a substitute moments earlier, played a delightful through pass to Marta in behind the Chinese defence. The No10 composed herself before poking towards Andressa Alves, who side-footed home.

Andressa had a hand in the final goal of the evening too, curling in a superb free-kick which was nodded home by Cristiane, extending her record as leading goalscorer in the Women's Olympic Football Tournament with her 13th goal across four competitions.

Brazil top the embryonic Group E ahead of Sweden, who defeated South Africa 1-0 in the day's earlier game. The hosts are up against fellow victors Sweden on Saturday, with China PR and South Africa facing off in an attempt to get off the mark at Rio 2016.