2012 Olympics, Women's Football Tournament: Favorites Brazil, Sweden Win Big On Day 1

Everything went according to plan for the big sides on Day 1 of the women's football tournament at the 2012 Olympics, though some looked much better than others. Japan, the United States, Brazil and Sweden looked like medal contenders, while Great Britain were made to struggle in their win.

In their first ever Olympics appearance, hosts Great Britain were well on top throughout against New Zealand, but only managed to hit the back of the net once in a 1-0 victory. After a scoreless first half, Stephanie Houghton broke the deadlock with a beautiful free kick goal in the 64th minute to give her team the win.

Defending world champions Japan faced off in Canada in the best match of the day and held on for a crucial 2-1 victory. Japan went into halftime with a 2-1 lead, thanks to goals by Nahomi Kawasumi and Aya Miyama. Melissa Tancredi pulled a goal back early in the second half, but Canada couldn't find an equalizer.

Brazil and Sweden were both dominant as expected against weak teams. Christiane became the all-time leading scorer in the Olympics with her goal, while world player of the year Marta scored twice in a 5-0 win over Cameroon. Sweden defeated South Africa 4-1, with potential Golden Boot candidate Lotta Schelin scoring twice.

In Glasgow, the United States got off to an awful start, falling into a 2-0 hole against France in the first 15 minutes, They were dominant in the final 75 minutes, however, and went on to comfortably win 4-2. Megan Rapinoe turned in a dominant performance with two assists, and she was instrumental in setting up the other two goals as well. Alex Morgan scored twice, while Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd netted the other goals.

There was a bit of a snafu in the late game when a South Korean flag was displayed alongside pictures of North Korean players. They were infuriated and initially refused to play, causing a long delay, before they eventually agreed to take the field. That turned out to be a good decision, as they defeated Colombia 2-0. With that win, they're already very likely to go to the quarterfinals, even if they lose their next two.

Scores

Great Britain 1-0 New Zealand
United States 4-2 France
Japan 2-1 Canada
Brazil 5-0 Cameroon
Sweden 4-1 South Africa
North Korea 2-0 Colombia

Full report: United States 4-2 France

You can find all of our coverage of Wednesday's games in our 2012 Olympics, Women's Soccer Day 1 StoryStream. Below, Matt Ufford recaps the United States' 4-2 win over France.

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