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Canada Takes Fans on a Wild Ride in Opening Game

19 seconds in, Beckie scores for Canada. 19 minutes in, Zadorsky gets a straight red.

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Of all the ways for the Canada and Australia match to kick off, probably no one would say a goal score within 19 seconds of the whistle would be it.

And yet, it was.

Directly after kickoff, Captain Canada Christine Sinclair found Janine Beckie who sent the goal past Dash teammate Lydia Williams, setting a new record for the fastest goal scored in Olympic history, men or women.

Trouble came for Canada early in the first half when standout defender Shelina Zadorsky was given a straight red after taking down Michelle Heyman. She will sit out the next game against Zimbabwe. A tactical shift saw Melissa Tancredi subbed out in the 23' and Rebecca Quinn brought on. Meanwhile, in the first half both Rhian Wilkinson and Desiree Scott saw yellows.

Goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe going down in a scene eerily familiar to Erin McLeod's season-ending ACL injury did nothing to calm the nerves of Canadian fans, but a near train wreck in the 36th minute which saw Labbe in no-man's land while Australia was streaking towards the goal may have sent a few into a state of panic.

The second half consisted largely of more cards for Canada, a few good saves by Labbe and another Beckie chance that was saved by Williams. A handball against Australia gave Canada a penalty kick, which was, for some reason, not taken by Sinclair and instead by Beckie. It was an easy save for Williams, but left fans questioning why the decision was made for Beckie to take it against her club teammate.

Jessie Fleming had a clear shot on goal in the 77th minute which slid through the legs of Williams, but an Australian defender managed to knock it clear at the last minute. In the 79th minute, Williams made a critical mistake and came off her line to cover Sinclair 40 yards out who easily fired a shot past her and into the wide open net.

After three minutes of stoppage, the final whistle blew with Canada winning 2-nil and somehow managing to hold the Matildas scoreless despite playing without one of their best defenders.