Great Britain Ladies 1 Brazil Ladies 0

Tuesday 31st July 2012
Great Britain Ladies 1 Brazil Ladies 0
Preliminary Round Group E
At: Wembley Stadium
Kick-off: 7-45pm
Admission: £45; Programme: £5 (68 pages)
Weather: cloudy, dry
Attendance: 70584
Duration: first-half: 45:21; second-half: 47:04

A truly memorable day – lunch at the famous Bridge Cafe and later, coincidently, bumping into Apprentices Adam and Gabrielle in Trafalgar Square, followed a cracking atmosphere at Wembley and a win for Great Britain! A 2nd-minute goal from Steph Houghton was sufficient to defeat the Brazilians and send ‘Team GB’ into the quarter finals with a 100% record. The crowd of 70584 established a record for a ladies match in the UK, shattering the previous best of 53000 set 92 years ago in 1920.

Like Old Trafford, we made a late decision to head for tonight’s game and so ended up paying £90 for two tickets in the north-west corner of the West Stand.

Also, like Old Trafford, the programme was a specific one for ‘Team GB’ and this issue covered both tonight’s game and tomorrow’s men’s match at Cardiff.

Though Brazil (in yellow shirts, white shorts and socks) got the game underway attacking the East Stand (old tunnel end), it was Great Britain who took the lead after just 92 seconds. Steph Houghton, who scored in the previous two groups games, fired home from a narrow angle on the right.

Surprisingly, it took just five minutes for the first serious Mexican wave to commence even though the start was far from boring. Call me old fashioned or miserable (or someone who prefers to concentrate on the match) but I can’t stand Mexican waves.

Brazil created the bulk of the first-half chances without success and they hit the post in the 26th minute. A small group of Brazilian fans in the row immediately behind us vocally got behind their team.

Arriving back late after the interval, all but one of those Brazilian fans returned just before Great Britain were awarded a penalty in the 56th minute. I felt the cushion of a second goal was needed but Kelly Smith saw her spot-kick saved by the diving goalkeeper.

The final missing Brazilian fan returned to her seat with less than 15 minutes left. Why?

Brazil didn’t get the goal I feared they would, so Great Britain topped Group A with 100% record without conceding a goal. They now face Canada in the quarter finals at the City of Coventry Stadium.

Having travelled up from central London with ease on the Jubilee Line to Wembley Park, we felt this tube station would be jam packed at full-time so opted for a different and surprisingly quick route back to Euston. Queues weren’t that lengthy at Wembley Stadium station and we were whisked to Marylebone on a fast non-stop 10-minute Chiltern Railways train within 20 minutes of the full-time whistle.

1-0 Steph Houghton (2)