Great Britain (GB) took home the first win of the 2012 London Olympics today as the women’s football team faced off against New Zealand at Millenium Stadium in Cardiff. It is the first time that GB has entered a women’s football team in the history of the Olympics, and, while New Zealand put plenty of pressure on the Brits, a pinpoint long-distance free kick from full-back Steph Houghton midway through the second half made the squad’s debut one to remember. Take a look at the Great Britain (GB) v New Zealand video highlights below and keep reading for more information on the match and tournament.
Great Britain (GB) v New Zealand Women’s Soccer Highlights VIDEO
Sue Smith praised Houghton’s play after the match:
We wanted a good, confident performance and we got the win. Great Britain have a great bench and there are impact players who can do a job. It is a tough job for Hope Powell but a nice one to have. For Steph Houghton to have the confidence to strike the ball like that was great. It had whip and pace and the goalkeeper had no chance. It was a fantastic strike. She had the belief that she was going to score.
Here’s some background on Women’s Football at the London Olympics, via wikipedia.
The women’s football tournament at the 2012 Summer Olympics is to be held in London and five other cities in the United Kingdom from 25 July to 9 August. Associations affiliated with FIFA were invited to enter their women’s teams in regional qualifying competitions, from which 11 teams, plus the hosts Great Britain reached the final tournament. There are no age restrictions for the players participating in the tournament. It is the first major FIFA affiliated women’s tournament to be staged within the United Kingdom and will mark the first time a team representing Great Britain will take part in the women’s tournament.
The women’s tournament is a full international tournament with no restrictions on age. Each nation must submit a squad of 18 players.
The draw for the tournament took place on 24 April 2012. Great Britain, Japan and USA were seeded for the draw and placed into groups E–G, respectively. The remaining teams were drawn from four pots.
Group E: Brazil, Great Britain, New Zealand, Cameroon
Group F: Sweden, Japan, Canada, Russia
Group G: USA, Korea PRK, France, Colombia