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Women's Football heavyweights draw in opening match

Updated: 2008-08-06 20:16:11
Women's Football heavyweights draw in opening match
Marta of Brazil is closed down by Linda Bresonik (L) and Simone Laudehr (R) of Germany during the women's preliminary group F match between Germany and Brazil at Shenyang Stadium on Day -2 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 6, 2008 in Shenyang, China. (Photo credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

(BEIJING, August 6) -- The first three games of the Women's Football tournament saw Canada beat Argentina 2-1, New Zealand draw with Japan 2-2 and Germany draw with Brazil 0-0.

The match between Germany and Brazil was tense, with both teams trying to penetrate the other's defense and score an early goal.

Brazil had a good chance to score early when the German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer conceded possession in a very dangerous area, but Cristiane's close range shot was ruled offside.

Germany's best chance came in the 22nd minute, when Sandra Smisek's shot rattled the bar. The tit-for-tat continued as the first half ended 0-0.

Brazil started to dominate possession in the second half. However, it missed several clear chances and faced stiff resistance from the German defense. Marta, the 2007 FIFA Player of the Year, was a dangerous force up forward, creating several shots on goal. Her long range shot in the 83rd minute was denied by the goalkeeper, while her solo run and shot in the 86th minute went narrowly wide.

In the Group E match, Canada went up 1-0 in the 27th minute thanks to a surprising long shot by Candace Chapman. Kara Lang widened the lead in the 72nd minute, heading in a corner kick. However Argentina was unbowed and Ludmila Manicler expertly turned in a cross from the goal line in the 85th minute.

The match between Japan and New Zealand was marred by fouls and warnings. New Zealand, in its Olympic debut, had a head start, scoring the first goals in the 37th minute and the 56th minute. Japan recovered in the second half. A flurry of shots on goal finally yielded results as Aya Miyama converted a penalty in the 72nd minute. Homare Sawa scored the equalizer in the 86th minute.

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