Steph of dreams
Great Britain 1-0 New Zealand
London 2012 Women's Football
4pm, Wednesday 25 July 2012
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Live on BBC1
Steph Houghton became the first ever woman to score for Team GB at the Olympic Games as her free-kick gave Hope Powell's side a deserved 1-0 victory over New Zealand at Cardiff's Millenium Stadium.
Powell's women dominated for long periods and should have been ahead before half-time. But they were rewarded when Arsenal star Houghton curled a wonderful free-kick into the bottom corner shortly after the hour mark as Team GB began the 2012 Olympics in perfect fashion.
And in what was an historic day for both Team GB and women's football, Houghton's classy effort was a great way to start in a group that also contains Brazil and Cameroon.
GB started somewhat nervously but improved as the game went on and deserved to be ahead going into half-time. The best chances all fell to Anita Aasante, who could have had a hat-trick by the interval.
The Goteburg star showed her aerial prowess as she climbed highest to meet crosses on three occasions, twice flashing headers narrowly wide and on one, agonising occasion, hitting the post.
The home side were certainly on top, though, and could have gone ahead on the stroke of half-time when Kim Little sprinted into the box after fine work from Eniola Aluko down the left.
The Scot could have shot herself but unselfishly attempted to find a team-mate, only for the New Zealand defence to block her pass.
Alex Scott had the next chance for the hosts early in the second half as she saw her shot brilliantly blocked, but Team GB did not have to wait long after the break for the opening goal.
And it was one worth waiting for as Houghton showed her class with a dipping, swerving free-kick that gave Jenny Bindon no chance in the New Zealand goal.
Team GB dropped off after going the front, and were almost made to pay when Ifeoma Dieke and Casey Stoney collided to give New Zealand striker Sarah Gregorius a clear run on goal.
It was a superb chance but Gregorius' shot gave Karen Bardsley a chance and the goalkeeper got down low to her left to make the save.
And Bardsley also showed her talent when she tipped Amber Hearn's fine long-range shot over the bar.
But both Bardsley and Team GB held on for a valuable victory that ensured they got their tournament off to the dream start.