Striker Richarlison scored a stunning hat trick in the first half when Brazil beat Germany 4-2 in the opening game of the 2020 Summer Games in Japan.

Brazil also prevailed against Germany in the home game five years ago and won the gold medal in a dramatic penalty shoot-out.

Thursday’s game was played at the International Stadium in Yokohama – the same place where Brazil defeated Germany in the 2002 World Cup final.

Everton striker Richarlison’s hat-trick within the first 30 minutes put Brazil back on track to victory, despite Nadiem Amiri and Ragnar Ache making it 3-2 and a nervous finish with goals in the second half.

A late goal from Bayer Leverkusen’s striker Paulinho crowned the win and gave Brazil an important start with three points.

Richarlison (# 10) scores Brazil's third goal during the men's group D first round match against Germany during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Yokohama International Stadium on July 22, 2021 in Yokohama, Tokyo, Japan.  .READ: Mexico beats up France and Spain

Elsewhere on Thursday hosts Japan started with a 1-0 win over South Africa.

South Africa was exhausted from Covid-19 infections after two players and a video analyst tested positive for Covid-19 in Tokyo on Sunday.

Eighteen players were then identified as close contacts and forced to isolate themselves in their respective rooms in the Tokyo Olympic Village.

However, a squad of 17 South African players has passed the pre-game Covid-19 protocols that allow the game to take place at the Tokyo Stadium on Thursday.

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There were also some surprises for the men: none of Spain, France or Argentina won their games.

Mexico beat France 4-1, Australia beat Argentina 2-0 and Spain, the last European men’s team to take gold in 1992, were kept goalless against Egypt.