Tokyo Olympics: GB footballers start with victory over Chile

Great Britain started their successful Olympic campaign as the women’s soccer team comfortably beat Chile in an empty stadium in Sapporo, Japan.

Manchester City forward Ellen White scored on either side of the break to put GB in charge of Group E.

Her City teammate Lauren Hemp, who was impressive from start to finish, kept the ball in play at the back post for the Whites to open the scoring after 18 minutes.

Defender Lucy Bronze then passed him past the defender and chose White, whose acrobatic header made it 2-0 later in the second half.

Hege Riise’s side dominated possession and created a plethora of chances – White could have scored a hat-trick if she hadn’t been offside when she stabbed the rebound of Georgia Stanway’s strike from the start.

GB leads the group ahead of the Japanese hosts’ opener against Canada (kick-off 11:30 BST).

The women’s soccer tournament kicked off two days before the opening ceremony in Tokyo, as the players of the GB team are the first of a 376-member team to represent the nation.

They took the knee before kick-off to highlight racial discrimination and injustice, a gesture that was made by the entire Chilean team.

White off the mark like hemp impresses

The Games began amid widespread opposition in Japan, with an increase in Covid-19 cases and fans absent from the event.

But the GB squad got off to a perfect start in Sapporo as the women’s soccer team made their first Olympics appearance since London 2012.

England striker White, part of the squad that reached the quarter-finals nine years ago, scored her first two goals at the Games as GB caused problems for Chile in attack.

Hemp, 20, was given the nod in front of Arsenal’s Nikita Parris and has been a nuisance throughout, leading to the back and often trailing a second defender.

The majority of GB’s most promising attacks came from the wide hemp, while the bronze provided more width on the right-back overlap.

Scotland’s Kim Little dictated the game from the central midfielder – showing how crucial her role will be for the team in Japan – and Chelsea midfielder Sophie Ingle came in late as a replacement to become the first footballer Welshman to represent the GB team at the Olympics.

GB’s next game will be against hosts Japan on Saturday July 24 in Sapporo.

“We totally deserved three points” – what they said

GB head coach Hege Riise: “The strategy since we started working together has been to keep possession, control the game, play behind and over the baseline – try to keep attacking in their half and control the game.

“In the first 30 minutes we looked good, then it got a little slower. We had chances – we totally deserved three points and we kept them away from our goal – c ‘was important.

“We were strong enough to keep them away from possession, which is good.”

GB forward Ellen White: “It was incredible [to score twice]. I’m really proud to be a part of the GB team and to score and contribute to the team was amazing.

“We had total respect for Chile and what they could bring to the game. We wanted to focus on what we could do. There were times when we played really well. which we have to work on but we’re really happy with the three points and we’re really looking forward to facing Japan next. “

“Little could be the key for Team GB” – analysis

Former British Captain Casey Stoney on BBC Two:

All three midfielders were excellent. Little controlled and dictated the game and his ability to scan when the ball is in motion is excellent. She has a constantly moving head and she can overcome the pressure. Relations in the midfield were really good – I really liked the balance of the team.

I think Little could be the key to this tournament. She is such an influential player. White is also going to be the key to this team. They don’t have a lot of options in this position so she has to score goals.



Training 4-2-3-1

  • 1Roe deer
  • 2Bronze
  • 5Houghton
  • 14Shiny
  • 12Daly
  • 4WalshReplaced byIngleat 69 ‘minutes
  • 11thresholdReplaced byScottat 90 ‘minutes
  • 17Stanway
  • 8LittleReplaced byTo oneat 90 + 2 ‘minutes
  • 15HempReplaced byParrisat 68 ‘minutes
  • 9White


  • 3Stokes
  • 6Ingle
  • 7Parris
  • 13Telford
  • 16Williamson
  • 18Scott
  • 20To one


Training 4-3-3

  • 1Endler
  • 6LopezReplaced byBalmacedaat 81 ‘minutes
  • 14sorry
  • 3Guerrero
  • 18Saez
  • 11LopezReplaced byMardonesat 70 ‘minutes
  • 8Araya
  • 4Lara
  • 15Zamora
  • 9Urrutia
  • tenAedoReplaced byAcuñaat 78 ‘minutes


  • 5Ramirez
  • 7Acuña
  • 12Campos
  • 16Balmaceda
  • 17Toro
  • 19Grez
  • 20Mardones

Salima mukansanga

Live Text

  1. The match ends, Great Britain Women 2, Chile 0.

  2. Second Half ends, Great Britain Women 2, Chile 0.

  3. Georgia Stanway (Great Britain Women) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  4. Foul by Daniela Pardo (Chile).

  5. Substitution, Great Britain Women. Ella Toone replaces Kim Little.

  6. Substitution, Great Britain Women. Jill Scott replaces Caroline Weir.

  7. Free kick won Rachel Daly (Great Britain Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Foul by Daniela Zamora (Chile).

  9. Nikita Parris (Great Britain Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Francisca Lara (Chile) fouls.

  11. Attempt blocked. Stephanie Houghton (Great Britain Women) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

  12. Ellen White (Great Britain Women) fouled.

  13. Free kick wonCarla Guerrero (Chile) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Failed attempt. Nikita Parris (Great Britain Women) header from the center of the box misses to the right. Helps Ellen White with a header pass.

  15. Substitution, Chile. Rosario Balmaceda replaces Nayadet López.

  16. Lucy Bronze (Great Britain Women) fouled.

  17. Free kick wonCarla Guerrero (Chile) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Attempt saved. Rachel Daly (Great Britain Women) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Kim Little.

  19. Substitution, Chile. Yenny Acuña replaces Yanara Aedo.

  20. Georgia Stanway (Great Britain Women) fouls.

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