The 2016 Rio Olympics women's soccer competition got underway today with Canada downing Australia 2-0 in the opening game of Group F play. Thorns FC captain Christine Sinclair had a goal and an assist in the match to power the Canadians to the win. In fact, her opportunistic play helped set up the earliest goal in women's Olympic soccer history when she dispossessed an Australian defender then nutmegged another on a cross that forward Janine Beckie finished mere seconds into the match.
In a close match, Canada played much of the game with only 10 players after a straight red card in the 18th minute to Shelina Zadorsky. Beckie also missed penalty kick opportunity in the 73rd minute.
Sinclair then iced the win seven minutes later when she rounded Matildas' goalkeeper Lyndia Williams and chipped an oncoming Australia defender. Sinclair had received a dangerous through ball before beating Williams, who had come way off her line in an attempt to stop the play.
Canada next take on Zimbabwe on Saturday (11am PG, NBC Olympic Soccer Channel).
In Group G play, the U.S. Women's National Team cruised to a 2-0 victory over New Zealand in their opening match. Four Thorns FC players featured in the win with Tobin Heath, Allie Long, and Meghan Klingenberg all starting and playing the full 90 while midfielder Lindsey Horan came off the bench in the 64th minute to help close out the win.
Heath was busy all match darting around New Zealand players and creating chances in the attack. In the ninth minute, she served in a pinpoint cross that Carli Lloyd headed home for the game's opening goal.
The USWNT next play France on Aug. 6 (1pm PT, NBCSN).
Speaking of France, Thorns FC midfielder Amandine Henry and the French took care of Colombia 4-0 in their Group G opener. Henry started and played the full 90 as the win put them even on points with the United States in the group whom they play next on Saturday.