First points of London 2012 go to the hosts

Great Britain's women team kick-off London Games and secure their first ever victory of the tournament against Kiwis.

    First points of London 2012 go to the hosts
    Houghton (L) celebrates scoring a goal that secured a historic win and match for the Great British team [Reuters]

    The first victory of the London Olympics went to the host country.

    Stephanie Houghton curled in a 64th-minute free kick to give Britain a 1-0 win over New Zealand in a women's football match that kicked off the London Games on Wednesday, two days before the opening ceremony.

    It was the first ever win for Britain in women's football, as team had never been put together before this year's Olympics.

    The players celebrated by hugging on the pitch and then walking around the field to thank the nearly 25,000 fans at the Millennium Stadium on a hot afternoon in Cardiff, Wales.

    "They made history today. They are history makers,'' Britain coach Hope Powell said.

    "They made history today. They are history makers"

    Hope Powell

    "We recognised that it was the first event, that it was an opportunity to showcase our talent. We couldn't ignore that.''

    The football tournament started early because of its long match schedule.

    The men's competition will begin on Thursday.

    Britain now are one of the favorites to advance from Group E along with 2008 silver-medallist Brazil.

    Houghton took advantage of a free kick just outside the penalty area to send a right-foot shot into the left side of the net, getting the ball just inside the wall to beat New Zealand goalkeeper Jenny Bindon.

    The New Zealanders, who have never won a match in the Olympics or the World Cup finals in women's football, controlled play early before Britain took over about midway through the first half, creating a series of dangerous scoring chances.

    "It was a tough contest,'' Powell said.

    "Conditions were very difficult for both sides. It was a battle. We are really pleased to get the first game out of the way with three points.''

    SOURCE: AP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.