Janine Beckie (left) of Canada and Clare Polkinghorne in action during the match between Canada and Australia.
Janine Beckie (left) of Canada and Clare Polkinghorne in action during the match between Canada and Australia. Alexandre Schneider

Matildas begin Olympics with loss to Canada

THE Matildas have got off to the worst possible start to their Olympic football campaign, losing 2-0 to Canada in their opening group game.

Allen Stajcic's team now needs to beat world No.2 side Germany on Sunday morning (AEST) if it is to qualify for the knockout stages of the tournament.

A disastrous opening allowed the Canadians to score after just 20 seconds - the fastest goal in Olympic football history.

A defensive error led to Janine Beckie slotting home from close range and the Aussies were on the back foot.

They were given a lifeline when Shelina Zadorsky was handed a red card before half-time.

But despite the numerical advantage, the Matildas could not capitalise.

Instead, the Canadians got stronger and after Lydia Williams saved Beckie's penalty, they doubled their lead through star forward Christine Sinclair, who beat the stranded Williams to the ball to slot home into an empty net from distance.

Germany is in the driving seat of Group F after beating Zimbabwe 6-1.


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