South Africa



It's time.

Yes, 1452 days after the closing ceremony in the soon to be Tesco Stadium in London, the 2016 Olympic competition gets going today, with the Swedish and South African women's teams getting the games underway!

I'm Joe Love with coverage of the opening game of the opening event on the opening day which is two days before the official opening day but whatever, this is the opening day.


Here. We. Go. I don't like football but I'm literally only following this 'cause it's the first event of Rio 2016.

Now, a few things you should know about the Women's football tournament. Three groups of four. Top two in each group gets through as does the two best placed third teams. So only four of the 12 teams get knocked out after the group stage. The IOC going all UEFA on us here. Wikipedia also thinks you should know that there will be about 400 footballs used in this Olympics, so you know that now.

As for this game, Sweden and South Africa are in group E along with China and hosts Brazil. The Swedes are ranked sixth in the world so will be heavy favorites for this opening match, with South Africa being ranked down in 52nd.

I'm endeavoring to find some team news for this match but am struggling so far, rest assured that eleven Swedish women will line up opposite eleven South African women in about 15 minutes time.

The attendance is, well, sparse, as the two teams walk out onto the pitch. Unusually for an event at an Olympic Games, but not for international football, the sides anthems are played pre match, with Sweden's first. The Swedish players are sporting some H&M binbag inspired jackets as they sing along to there anthem. No such fuss from South Africa, they all hold hands in there kit and sing loudly.

The Swedes are in a strange sort of yellow that I think is called gold, which will look a bit silly when they lose in the final and have to wear silver. South Africa are in traditional green with a small amount of yellow.

1' So it's Sweden who have the honour of starting this Olympic Games with a simple backwards pass from kick off!

1' A very tame early effort from South Africa just trickles towards the goal from a long way out, easy for the keeper