Orpington's Claire Rafferty helps make history for Team GB as London 2012 kicks off (From Swindon Advertiser)
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Orpington's Claire Rafferty helps make history for Team GB as London 2012 kicks off
ORPINGTON’S Claire Rafferty helped make history yesterday in the first match Great Britain have played in women’s football.
The 23-year-old left back, who used to play for Millwall Lionesses, was part of the team which drew a crowd of 24,549 to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff to kick off the Olympic Games.
By beating New Zealand 1-0, with the matchwinner coming from 24-year-old Stephanie Houghton, Team GB is now in line to claim a quarter-final place.
And their coach Hope Powell has expressed her satisfaction at how the team accepted their status as the Games’ opening act.
She said: “The girls have made history.
"It has been mentioned so much we couldn't ignore it.
“We were the first women's GB team ever and we won.
“That will never change now.
"We wanted to enjoy the experience.
"We recognised it was the first event and that it was an opportunity for the girls to showcase their talent.
"I wanted them to embrace it and have a go.
“As it happens, we did all right."
GB remain in Cardiff, where they will take on Cameroon on Saturday.
The Africans will be smarting after their 5-0 hammering by Brazil in the second game of yesterday's double-header at the Millennium Stadium, their battling display completely undermined by three goals in the final 17 minutes for their opponents, including a double for skipper Marta.
In Group F, last year's World Cup winners Japan secured a 2-1 win over Canada at the City of Coventry Stadium, whilst Sweden cruised to a 4-1 victory against South Africa.
Prior to the administrative disaster that left North Korea so unhappy at Hampden Park, gold medal favourites United States had served notice of their intentions by roaring back from two goals down to beat France 4-2.