RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, Sporting Alert – The first Olympians in action at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games will be the women’s soccer players.
Opening the competition is the first round Group E match-up between South Africa and Sweden inside Rio’s Joao Havelange Olympic Stadium on Wednesday (3).
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The only other head-to-head meeting between these two sides came in the group stage at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Sweden, behind a brace from veteran striker Lotta Schelin, thrashed the South Africans 4-1.
Schelin, who has scored five goals in Olympic tournaments, will captain her country at these Games and the 32-year-old will play alongside Sofia Jakobsson in the attack for the Swedes.
Linda Sembrant, Nilla Fischer, Magdalena Eriksson, Lisa Dahlkvist, Kosovare Asllani, Caroline Seger and Fridolina Rolfo are also among the starters today for Sweden.
Defender Janine Van Wyk will lead South Africa, and she will be hoping to play her part in helping her country to get off to a positive start.
In the meantime, a number of people kept asking me about opening ceremony and can the Olympics start before the introduction nations.
But as usual, when it come to the summer Olympics, the competition usually begins before the opening ceremony takes place.
Sweden Team: Hedvig Lindahl, Linda Sembrant, Nilla Fischer, Magdalena Eriksson, Jessica Samuelsson, Lisa Dahlkvist, Kosovare Asllani, Caroline Seger, Fridolina Rolfo, Lotta Schelin, Sofia Jakobsson. Subs: Emilia Appelqvist, Jonna Andersson, Stina Blackstenius, Olivia Schough, Elin Rubensson, Hilda Carlen, Emma Berglund.
South Africa Team: Roxanne Barker, Noko Matlou, Janine Van Wyk, Nothando Vilakazi, Lebohang Ramalepe, Jermaine Seoposenwe, Mamello Makhabane, Refiloe Jane, Stephanie Malherbe, Octovia Nogwanya, Amanda Dlamini. Subs: Leandra Smeda, Robyn Moodaly, Sanah Mollo, Bambanani Mbane, Mpumi Nyandeni, Andile Dlamini, Linda Motlhalo.