China’s Olympics got under way in Japan on the first day of the Tokyo 2020 Games but it was a harrowing start for the women’s football team as they lost 5-0 to Brazil at the Miyagi Stadium. The Steel Roses, as the Chinese women’s national team are known, had not beaten Brazil in the 25 years since the semi-final of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta where they would go on to win silver, and the record goes on. It took just eight minutes before six-time Fifa world player of the year Marta opened the scoring for Brazil, who have twice won Olympic silver, reacting first after Debinha hit the bar with a header. Debinha then added a second halfway through the first half as she reacted to a rebound from Peng Shimeng’s save from Beatriz. China got themselves back into the game but failed to make the pressure count and it was 2-0 at the interval. Jia Xuquan’s side could not find a goal after the restart as they dominated possession. The closest they came was Wang Shanshan hitting the upright soon after half-time. Japan beat Australia to finally kick off Tokyo 2020 Olympics Brazil went further ahead thanks to a second from Marta on the 74th minute and then put an added gloss on to the win with goals from Andressa Alves from the penalty spot and Beatriz in the final stages. The five-star performance represented good value for the limited number of fans allowed in to the Miyagi Stadium, one of the few venues to allow supporters. Marta set a record for scoring in five consecutive Games – a record in men’s and women’s football – while teammate Formiga appeared in a seventh Olympics, a record for women’s football. Marta is now two goals behind Christiane as the record Olympic goalscorer. 43-year-old Brazil legend Formiga’s start against China means she has now appeared in SEVEN Olympics #Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/GKXrgH5vdk — B/R Football (@brfootball) July 21, 2021 China’s women qualified after beating South Korea in their Asian play-offs and the world No 15 were handed the kindest draw possible for Tokyo, missing out on the top ranked teams in each pot. Their opening opponents Brazil – world No 7 – face the highest ranked team in the group – the world No 4 Netherlands – on Saturday. The same day China will look to get their Olympics hope back on track against world No 104 Zambia, the lowest-ranked team in Japan. The result means China need to win to stand a chance of going through to the next stage. The top two teams in each of the three groups and the two best third-placed teams move on to the quarter-finals. As with the softball that started the Tokyo Games, the heat was a factor in Rifu, Miyagu prefecture, as it is expected to be across the Olympics, which officially open on Friday.