China charge sinks Swedes
© AFP

Hosts China overcame a determined Swedish outfit 2-1 in Tianjin to move joint top of Women's Olympic Football Tournament Group E. After Lotta Schelin equalised Pu Wei's early opener, Han Duan sealed the win for China with a stunner late in the second half to send the crowd of just under 38,000 into fits of delight.

The hosts came out in inspired form from the opening whistle. And after a barrage of heavy and steady pressure, Zhang Na fired in a vicious shot that pinged off Hedvig Lindhal's post. The goalkeeper was unable to recover in time and Pu Wei snuck in to expertly slot the rebound home (1-0).

The Swedes, stunned into response, slowly began to haul themselves back into the contest. After a series of half chances, Schelin got on the end of a slide-rule diagonal ball from captain Victoria Svensson with seven minutes to go in the first half. The lanky striker rounded Chinese goalkeeper Zhang Yanru and slammed the ball through a forest of legs, off the post and in (1-1).

The Swedes continued to apply the pressure after the break, with the game developing an end-to-end feel. The Chinese then began to take the initiative back mid-way through the second period. In the 72nd minute, they got the crucial breakthrough. Substitute Wang Dandan played the ball into the box for Xu Yuan, who laid it off for Han Duan on the left side of the box. The ace striker made no mistake, hammering her left-footed shot into the net (2-1).

The Swedes will face Argentina in their next match on 9 August in Tianjin, while China take on Canada, who beat the Argentines 2-1 in their opener earlier on Wednesday.