HISTORY-MAKER Steph Houghton insists there is more to come from Team GB after they opened their Olympic campaign with a 1-0 win over New Zealand in Cardiff.
The former Sunderland Women player, from South Hetton struck the opening goal of the Games with a curling right-footed free-kick after 65 minutes, becoming the first player to score for the Team GB women’s side.
The win, secured after an understandably nervous start given the focus on the fixture, means Hope Powell’s side have one foot in the last eight of the competition.
The slender margin of victory was hardly a fair reflection of a game that GB dominated while failing to make the most of their chances, with Anita Asante and Kim Little among those who failed to finish presentable chances.
With the next Group E fixture in Cardiff tomorrow against Cameroon, beaten 5-0 by Brazil on Wednesday, just 48 hours away, Houghton admits being clinical in front of goal is something the home side will look to improve on.
She said: “It was an amazing day for us. There was a big crowd and it seemed like there were a lot of people there trying to spur us on. Overall it was a good performance and we created plenty of chances, but unfortunately we couldn’t put them in the back of the net.
“We got the win but the important thing now is to rest up for Saturday and make sure we are ready to put in an even better performance against Cameroon.”
Scoring the winner was particularly sweet for Houghton (left) after she was forced to miss the 2007 World Cup and the 2009 Euros due to injury.
And the 24-year-old, who had seven members of her family in attendance at the Millennium Stadium, admits her moment of Olympic glory has gone some of the way to making up for those heartaches.
“I have had a few disappointments but they have made me the player I am today, and with the help of my coaches and my team-mates I have got over them,” she said.
“It’s a really special moment for me and it puts all the injury problems behind me.
“I don’t think it will sink in for a while yet but I am very, very pleased.
“The most important thing was that we got the win and hopefully we can press on to the next game and get another three points.”
Much had been made in the build-up to the Games of the football associations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland being opposed to a Team GB selection.
There were two Scots in the line-up in Cardiff in the form of midfielder Little and defender Ifeoma Dieke.
The pair opted not to sing God Save the Queen prior to kick-off, but Little says she is very proud to be representing the host nation.
She said: “I don’t know what the reaction is at home but for me it has been all positive. I have had a lot of well done messages and people saying good luck, and I am proud to be here representing Scotland as part of Team GB.”