Thursday, 26 July 2012

Team GB off to a winning start in Olympics

Stephanie Houghton scored off a free kick to give Team Great Britain a 1-0 win over New Zealand in the opening women's football match of the London Games, two days before the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium. 

Houghton sent a right-footed shot into the left side of the net in the 64th minute, getting the ball just inside the wall to beat the Kiwi keeper. 

Team GB are one of the favorites to advance from Group E along with 2008 silver-medalist Brazil, which will play Cameroon later in the day at the same stadium. 

The football tournament started before Friday's opening ceremony because of its long match schedule. The men's competition will begin on Thursday. 

New Zealand, which has never won a match in the Olympics or the World Cup, began controlling the match but Britain took over about midway through the first half, creating a series of dangerous scoring chances. 

The best chance before Houghton's goal had come in the first half when midfielder Anita Asante's header struck the woodwork and just trickled out in the 34th minute, prompting Bindon to kiss the post in appreciation. 

Asante also just missed with a header in the 36th minute off a corner, and Alex Scott's shot in the 38th minute went just wide after she got past a defender inside the area. 

New Zealand had one of its few scoring chances early in the second half, when Amber Hearn's free kick shot sailed wide but close to the goal in the 49th minute. 

Britain continued to attack and substitute Ellen White missed a chance in the 63rd minute after entering the area free from defenders. Her shot was just blocked by Karen Carney at the last moment. 

Bardsley also tipped a shot from Hearn over the crossbar in the 84th minute. 

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