The Sports Matrix: Thursday 26 July 2012


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The Independent Online

Houghton free-kick gets Team GB off to a winning start

The women's football team began their Games with a deserved victory, Stephanie Houghton's stunning free-kick earning a 1-0 victory over New Zealand in Cardiff. In the first proper action of the London Games, Hope Powell's side weathered an initial storm before settling and attacking with confidence; Houghton, Eniola Aluko and Anita Asante wasting chances. Arsenal defender Houghton finally made the breakthrough just after the hour mark, curling in a 25-yard free-kick to secure the points. Goalkeeper Karen Bardsley was forced into late action to preserve GB's advantage. They next face Cameroon, again in Cardiff, on Saturday, before completing their group campaign against Brazil at Wembley on Tuesday. MORE

Giggs dreaming of glory for Team GB

Ryan Giggs, who will captain Great Britain in tonight's opener against Senegal, says that winning an Olympic medal would be up there with any of his club achievements. "Any medal will rank highly," the Welshman said. "Hopefully, we'll get the chance to go a long way." MORE

'Idowu was very nearly a no go'

Charles van Commenee, head of UK Athletics, has revealed that he considered dropping Phillips Idowu from the Olympics squad because of ongoing concerns over the triple jumper's fitness. "I decided to give Phillips the chance to win," said the Dutchman. MORE

Radcliffe in race to be fit for Games

Paula Radcliffe, Great Britain's marathon world record holder, has been given a 50-50 chance of making the Games. "She has been on a thin line every day for the last decade," head of UK Athletics Charles van Commenee said of the runner. MORE

Watson 'ecstatic' after singles call

Heather Watson has spoken of her delight at being called into the singles competition. "I'm so excited," she said after replacing the injured Alona Bondarenko. "I was at practice on Tuesday and Paul [Hutchins – Britain's team leader] came and told me. I was ecstatic." MORE

Redknapp vows to help ailing Pompey

Harry Redknapp has pledged to help rescue Portsmouth, the club he once managed, from oblivion. The side have until 10 August to get their finances in order. “Portsmouth has got to be saved,” Redknapp said.“It’s a great club with great traditions.” MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Nicola Adams lights up the darkest corner of the athletes' village but, more significantly, shines a light on what not so long ago was a most ferocious, and obdurate, example of male chauvinism. MORE