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Norway Beats US in Olympic Women's Football Opener


The women's Olympic football tournament has kicked off the competition at the Beijing Games with some surprises. As VOA's Jim Stevenson reports from the Chinese capital, tournament favorites came away with opening round disappointments.

Norway blasted the top ranked United States team with two quick goals in the first four minutes of their Group G contest Wednesday in Qinhuangdao. Leni Larsen Kaurin headed in the first score in the second minute before Melissa Wiik followed with a powerful shot from the right side in the fourth minute.

Also in the group, Japan and New Zealand played to a 2-2 draw. That result gives the U.S. women hope of advancing to the next round despite their loss.

In a rematch of last year's Women's World Cup final, champion Germany and Brazil played to a scoreless draw (0-0). Both of the tournament favorites were hoping to squeeze out a victory from the very physical game in Shenyang. North Korea meanwhile defeated Nigeria, 1-0, to take the early lead in Group F.

In Group E, host China got off to a winning start in Tianjin with a 2-1 decision over Sweden. Canada topped Argentina by that same 2-1 score. Candace Chapman scored in the 27th minute. Canadian teammate Kara Lang found the net in the 72nd minute before Argentina scored late.

The first round continues on Saturday and concludes Tuesday. The women's tournament ends August 21 at Workers Stadium in Beijing with the bronze and gold medal games.

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