The Great Britain women’s football team kicked off the 2012 Olympics with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over New Zealand at a sun-soaked Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Hope Powell’s GB team were making their first appearance in the women’s Olympic football tournament and for a while it looked as though it might turn into a frustrating afternoon for her side after they wasted a host of good chances.
But the first action of the Games was settled when full-back Steph Houghton converted a free-kick midway through the second half, much to the delight of an enthusiastic crowd in the Welsh capital.
Powell’s team celebrated with a group huddle at the final whistle and a lap of the stadium - and they can look forward to the remainder of their Group E campaign, which continues against Cameroon on Saturday.
But it was a very different story during the opening exchanges as they were outplayed by the Football Ferns. New Zealand, who lost to England in the group stage of last year’s World Cup, controlled the early battle in midfield and created a series of half-chances.