South America’s first Olympic Games kicked off with women’s football on Wednesday, when Sweden beat South Africa 1-0 in Rio de Janeiro.
Although the opening ceremony takes place on Friday, the football competitions begin ahead of time with six women’s matches on Wednesday and another eight men’s games on Thursday.
The opening action at Rio’s Olympic stadium was lacklustre with few clear chances.
Nilla Fischer scored Sweden’s winner after 74 minutes, bundling the ball into the net with her knee after the South African keeper failed to hold a cross.
Sweden were superior, particularly in the first half, but could not turn possession into goals.
The result means South Africa have yet to win an Olympic football match in their four finals appearances.
The second game in Group E takes place later on Wednesday when home side Brazil, seeking their first Olympic gold after two silver medal performances, take on China.
In the second game of the day in Group F, Canada beat Australia 2-0 in spite of playing most the game in Sao Paulo with 10 women.
Canada got the first goal after 16 seconds and then added another 10 minutes from time, having had Shelina Zadorsky sent off after 18 minutes.
Holders and top-ranked side the United States play New Zealand at night in Belo Horizonte.
The men’s competition begins on Thursday, with eight games, including Brazil against South Africa and holders Mexico versus Germany.