It was almost the perfect start for New Zealand's Olympic campaign but the Football Ferns had to settle for a 2-2 draw with Japan in Qinhuangdao.
The New Zealand women's football team were just four minutes away from an upset victory over the world number 10 in their Group G opener.
A first half tap-in from Kirsty Yallop in the 37th minute against the run of play meant the New Zealanders went into the break one goal up.
Then the Ferns looked like posting an upset following a penalty 11 minutes after halftime, converted by Amber Hearn.
But it wasn't to be as Japan scored twice in the last 18 minutes.
In other Group G games Norway scored the two fastest goals in Olympic history to stun the world number one, the USA, 2-0. China beat Sweden 2-1.
In Group F action in Shenyang, Germany and Brazil played out a goal-less draw while North Korea beat Nigeria 1-0.