Bardsley, Great Britain Triumph in Olympic Opener

CARDIFF, Wales - Former Cal State Fullerton goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and her Great Britain teammates got off to a winning start Wednesday as Stephanie Houghton's goal in the 64th minute off a free kick helped propel her side to a 1-0 shutout of New Zealand to open play at the 2012 London Oympics at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

In Great Britain's first-ever Olympic women's football competition, Houghton sent the home side ahead midway through the second half, curling a shot between two defenders into the lower left-hand corner and past a diving Jenny Bindon for the only score of the match.

Bardsley then made two key saves in the final 20 minutes to preserve the lead, the first off a defensive miscue, when she smothered an attempt by a wide-open Sarah Gregorius in the box after two of her defenders collided in the 72nd minute and the second coming 13 minutes later when she skied to tip a shot by Amber Hearn over the crossbar in the 85th minute to preserve the clean sheet.

Great Britain now faces Cameroon on Saturday at 9:15 a.m. PT in its second match of Group E.

Official London 2012 Olympic Site - Recap
Official London 2012 Olympic Site - Photo Gallery
Recap from TheFA.com (with photos)