London 2012 Olympics: Team GB women beat New Zealand in opener
Stephanie Houghton's precisely-placed free-kick hands Team GB's women 1-0 win over New Zealand in their London 2012 opener
Team GB’s women’s team defeated New Zealand 1-0 in the opening event of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
Stephanie Houghton’s precisely-placed free-kick gave the Brit girls victory after they hard spurned a host of chances and she admitted: “Scoring the first goal of the Olympics has a nice ring to it!”
Indeed, Arsenal midfielder Houghton netted the first-ever Olympic goal from a British woman as her sumptuous 25-yard strike earned Team GB a well-merited victory in the first round Group E clash.
Team GB, who were backed all the way by a 25,000 crowd in the Welsh capital, took the game to the Football Ferns who absorbed vast amounts of pressure in the first half.
Hope Powell’s side controlled the game and threatened to break the deadlock before the break with a flurry of well-crafted chances for Anita Asante, whose best effort was a low-struck shot which hit the post from inside the six-yard box.
Team GB’s persistence was rewarded after the hour mark as the versatile Houghton ensured the women’s team’s first Olympic goal would live long in the memory with a majestic set-piece which curled sweetly into the bottom right-hand corner.
“It was something special and I’m sure my family are really proud,” said match-winner Houghton. “I don’t think it will sink in for a while. I’m just glad it got us the win.
“We needed three points and we got them. We need to score more and hope to put that right in our next match against Cameroon.
Team GB continue their campaign against Olympic newcomers Cameroon on Saturday and Beijing silver medallists Brazil on Tuesday, with both games taking place at the Millennium Stadium.
The top two teams from the three groups advance along with the two best third-placed teams.