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Net gains for Team GB's women footballers

DELIGHTED: Hope Powell

GREAT BRITAIN'S women’s football team qualified for the quarter finals of the Olympic women’s football tournament for the first time ever last night (July 31).

The finished top of the table and the only football side to have not conceded a goal. A one-nil victory over Brazil, ranked fifth in the world, sets up a tie with Canada on August 3 at 7.30pm.

Records were smashed by the crowd and the TV audience. An incredible 70,584 crowd saw the performance live at Wembley which beat the biggest crowd for a women’s match of 53,000 who watched Dick Kerrs v St Helens ladies at Goodison Park in 1920. A record TV audience peaked at 3.892 million on BBC 3 and BBC Olympic 4.

Fans witnessed a confident, tactical and skilful performance by a team clearly relishing their time in the limelight. None more so than their coach Hope Powell who knows what this can do for the women’s game: "The atmosphere was electric and we got off to a great start," said a delighted.

"We spoke about it beforehand, about keeping the momentum going. Personally, I wish I could thank every one of the supporters. We're really trying to leave a really positive legacy, participation, raise awareness, raise the platform for women's football. Tonight we partly achieved some of that.”

Steph Houghton scored the game’s only goal, becoming the first female international to score at Wembley, and taking her tally to three in three matches – not bad for a left-back!

"It's unbelievable and amazing. To play in front of more than 70,000 people, you couldn't dream of a better day.”

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