Wednesday's Olympics: Australia downs New Zealand 2-1 in Olympic women’s soccer

The Detroit News

Tokyo — Sam Kerr and Tameka Yallop both scored and Australia opened the Olympic women’s soccer tournament with a 2-1 victory over New Zealand on Wednesday.

Yallop scored in the 20th minute and Kerr added her goal in the 33rd to put the Matildas up before halftime. Australia, ranked No. 9 in the world, is playing in its fifth Olympics.

New Zealand, ranked No. 22, narrowed the gap with Gabi Rennie’s goal in stoppage time.

Australia's Sam Kerr celebrates after scoring her side's second goal during a women's soccer match against New Zealand at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in Tokyo.

Australia has advanced to the Olympic quarterfinals twice, including at the 2016 Games. Fourteen players from that team are on the Tokyo squad.

This is New Zealand’s fourth Olympics. The Ferns are led by Tom Sermanni, the former coach of Australia and the U.S. national team.

New Zealand’s best Olympic showing was a quarterfinals appearance in 2012.

The group stage continues Saturday with New Zealand set to play the United States, while Australia meets Sweden in Saitama. Earlier Wednesday, the Swedes upset the Americans 3-0 at Tokyo Stadium.

►Bear sighting at Olympic baseball stadium: A bear appears to have ignored the ban on spectators at the Olympics.

Japanese media reported a bear was seen by guards early Wednesday at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium before Japan and Australia’s softball teams met in the opening event of the Olympics.

Fukushima is about 150 miles north of the main Olympic sites in Tokyo. Local media reported it was an Asian black bear.

“I woke up to text messages asking, is this real? There’s a big black bear, saying that it got on the field, it got in the area and it’s on the loose. And I felt, what? This is crazy. No way,” shortstop Amanda Chidester said after singling in the run in the Americans’ 1-0 win over Canada on Thursday.

“And then one of the girls on our team said: `Yeah, did you hear about the bear? It was on the news.’ So I was able to report back to my family and say it was, in fact, true, that there was a bear in the area.”

There was no sighting of the bear during either Wednesday or Thursday’s tripleheader.

“As we were driving up today, we were actually looking to see if we could find another bear,” U.S. coach Ken Eriksen said.

►Top shooter Hill of Britain tests positive, will miss Tokyo: Top-ranked shooter Amber Hill of Britain will miss the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19, she announced Wednesday.

The No. 1 in women’s skeet said she tested positive Tuesday night shortly before her scheduled departure for Tokyo, and that she was in self-isolation with no symptoms.

“Broken is about the only way to describe the pain I’m feeling right now,” the 23-year-old Hill wrote on her Instagram account.

British tennis players Johanna Konta and Dan Evans previously withdrew after testing positive.