Full confession, right up front: I don’t know much about women’s soccer, and I’ve definitely never played it. In fact, my entire soccer education comes directly (and only) from repeated viewings of Bend It Like Beckham.
And while that means I can bust out a very accurate recreation of Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ white-guy dance whenever “I Turn to You” comes on my iPod, it doesn’t make me the best-qualified person to bring you a play-by-play of the first official — though pre-Opening Ceremonies — day of the 2016 Summer Olympics.
But you don’t need to have even a passing interest in the sport to appreciate the grin that lit up Carli Lloyd’s face the moment she sent the ball sailing into the back of the New Zealand team’s net to earn the United States its first goal in the games.
Lloyd’s visible enthusiasm as she and teammate Allie Long embraced following the moment was a jolt of pure joy that — I hope — will become emblematic of the games on the whole. (The Belo Horizonte crowd booing teammate Hope Solo, possibly over her Zika tweets? Less so.) Later, Team USA’s Alex Morgan logged the match’s only other goal; the U.S. eventually won 2-0.
Here are some other highlights from the all-women’s-soccer Day -2 (yeah, I know) of the Rio games:
* Sweden bested South Africa, 1-0.
* Canada won its match against Australia, 2-0, with Janine Beckie scoring a goal roughly 20 seconds after the game began — the fastest Olympic goal ever recorded.
* Brazil, with the support of a fervent home-team crowd, defeated China 3-0.
What was your favorite moment of this day of Olympic competition? What are you most looking forward to in the games? Let us know in the comments!