Women’s football kicks off the London 2012 Olympic Games
The Olympic sports competition officially got underway on Wednesday, with the women’s football teams from Great Britain and New Zealand kicking off the London 2012 Olympic Games at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.
With the sun shining in the Welsh capital, the British women’s team – making their first-ever appearance in the Games – enjoyed a 1-0 win over their rivals, with Steph Houghton breaking the deadlock after 63 minutes, curling a 25-yard free-kick over the wall and past New Zealand goalkeeper Jenny Bindon.
Houghton was delighted that her effort turned out to be the winning goal.
"It was something special and I'm sure my family are really proud,” she said. “I don't think it will sink in for a while. I'm just glad it got us the win."
British captain Casey Stoney, meanwhile, had plenty of praise for the crowd in the Millennium Stadium.
“The atmosphere was fantastic,” she said. “I've never experienced anything like it before.”
With the opening round of matches completed, attention turns to the other group stage clashes. Great Britain and New Zealand will now take on Cameroon and Brazil in Group E, the USA and France will face Columbia and DPR Korea in Group G, and Japan and Canada are matched with Sweden and South Africa in Group F.
The three group winners and runners-up will qualify for the knockout stages, where they will be joined by the two best third-ranked teams.
The gold-medal match will take place at Wembley Stadium on 9 August.