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2016 Rio Olympics

Sloppy goal lifts Sweden past South Africa in Rio opener

Sweden celebrates a game-winning goal vs. South Africa.

Sweden celebrates a game-winning goal vs. South Africa.

South Africa’s sound defensive tactics looked for 74 minutes like it would be enough to earn a point and a relative upset against an uninspiring Sweden team.

And then, well…this happened:

It was a somewhat fittingly ugly goal for a stalemate of a match which saw Sweden, which qualified for the competition after winning a four-team European playoff, failed to solve South Africa’s compact defensive shape.

Sweden defender Nilla Fischer was officially credited with the goal, although the ball may have first gone in off the mistaken hands of South Africa goalkeeper Roxanne Barker.

[EXCLUSIVE: Fischer hopes experience will carry Sweden at Olympics]

South Africa failed to produce any real quality chances offensively. Banyana Banyana was called offside over a half-dozen times in the match.

Sweden’s most notable other chance came in the opening minutes, when Sofia Jakobsson put her shot from 18 yards off the crossbar.

Sweden next plays Olympic host Brazil on Saturday in Group E, while South Africa will face China.


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