Great Britain wins in women's soccer

Great Britain wins in women's soccer

Published Jul. 25, 2012 1:00 a.m. ET

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

Stephanie Houghton scored off a free kick Wednesday in Cardiff, Wales, to give Britain a 1-0 win over New Zealand in the opening women's football match of the London Games, two days before the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium.

Houghton sent a right-footed shot into the left side of the net in the 64th minute, getting the ball just inside the wall to beat New Zealand goalkeeper Jenny Bindon.

Britain is one of the favorites to advance from Group E along with 2008 silver-medalist Brazil, which routed Cameroon 5-0 on Wednesday.


The football tournament started before Friday's opening ceremony because of its long match schedule. The men's competition will begin on Thursday.

Wednesday's other action

Group E

Brazil 5, Cameroon 0: Brazil forward Cristiane became the top women's scorer at the Olympics after netting her 11th tournament goal in Brazil's rout of Cameroon at the London Games in Cardiff.

Cristiane, 27, surpassed retired Germany star Birgit Prinz, who had 10 Olympic goals.

The 27-year-old Brazilian scored the record-breaking goal in the 80th minute after a perfect pass from Marta, picking up the ball inside the area and dribbling past the goalkeeper before hitting the open net.

Group G

United States 4, France 2: Alex Morgan scored twice, Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd had a goal apiece and the US women's soccer team rallied from an early deficit in Glasgow, Scotland, to open its Olympics with a win over France.

The Americans trailed 2-0 after 14 minutes, allowing more goals they had allowed in any game since the World Cup final loss to Japan last year.

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North Korea 2, Colombia 0: North Korea won, but the big talking point was a gaffe by the London Olympic organizers, who mistakenly displayed the South Korean flag on a jumbo screen instead of North Korea's before the match.

That prompted the North Koreans to refuse to take the field for nearly an hour.

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Group F

Sweden 4, South Africa 1: Lotta Schelin scored twice in Coventry, England, to help Sweden comfortably beat South Africa in their opening game.

Sweden dominated from the start and was up 3-0 midway through the first half.

Japan 2, Canada 1: World champion Japan scored twice in the first half in Coventry and then held on for a win over Canada.

Nahomi Kawasumi put the Japanese ahead in the 33rd minute and Aya Miyama doubled the lead in the 44th to put the group favorites firmly in control.