Great Britain began the first events of the London Olympics with a narrow 1-0 win over New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium.
The hosts were made to work hard for their win as New Zealand defended well but still Hope Powell’s team were wasteful in front of goal until Steph Houghton scored the only goal of the game direct from a free kick in the second-half.
Britain had started the game nervously in the heat and humidity of Cardiff and only began to settle after the half-hour mark when they began to create and miss chances.
Little changed after the break until Houghton curled a 25 yard free kick past Kiwi’s keeper Jenny Bindon.
New Zealand then pushed forward in search of an equaliser and had the perfect chance moments later. A mix up between two Team GB defenders allowed Sarah Gregorius a clear run on goal but her weak shot was easily saved by Karen Bardsley.
For all the visitor’s pressure Britain comfortably held out until the closing minutes when Bardsley was forced to tip over an Amber Hearn effort.
Referee: Kari Seitz (USA)
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
GB scorers: Houghton 64
New Zealand scorers:
Yellow cards: Asante (GB), Wilkinson (NZ)