Ten-player Canada see off Australia
Janine Beckie scored the fastest goal in Olympic Football Tournament history to help Canada to a 2-0 win over Australia in the opening match of Group F at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo.
In the very first play of the match, Australia defender Laura Alleway misplaced her pass that allowed Canada great Christine Sinclair to pressure the Australian defence by stealing possession before passing across goal to Beckie who made no mistake to give Canada an early lead. The goal took just 20 seconds, making it the fastest in the history of Olympic Football. At London 2012, Mexico's Oribe Peralta had scored the fastest goal within 30 seconds in the final against Brazil.
Australia reacted positively after such an early setback. The Matildas gained control of the match, and after a red card for Canada left back Shelina Zadorsky, they became even more dominant. Zadorsky was the last defender on the play and fouled Michelle Heyman with the Australian in a promising attacking position, leading to a straight red card.
Australia midfielders Katrina Gorry and Elise Kellond-Knight were the main orchestrators of their attack, but they just could not find an equalizer before half-time.
After the break, Australia continued attacking Canada's defensive line, but goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe and her backline were up to the challenge in front of a vibrant 20,521 spectators in Sao Paulo.
Canada almost took a two-goal lead when Caitlin Foord's handball led to a penalty kick. However, Beckie's effort from the spot was saved by Lydia Williams, keeping The Matildas alive in the match.
Australia then pushed numbers forward in the hopes of finding the equalizing goal, but Canada took advantage and it was none other than Sinclair who stepped up. After a long ball from Jessie Fleming, Sinclair rounded Williams, who came out of her goal, to guide in a shot from outside the box into the open goal to make sure of the victory for John Herdman's side.
Canada will face Zimbabwe in their next Group F match, while Australia will look to respond against Germany on Saturday.