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Women’s football ‘I asked for a good start and we had a great one’: Team GB ease past Chile in Olympic opener

Coach Riise says players made a statement in opening group-stage game

BOSS Hege Riise believes Team GB have sent out a message by cruising past Chile in their Olympic opener.

Ellen White’s double eased them to a 2-0 win in their first Group E game in Sapporo today.

Team GB are likely to face tougher opposition in hosts Japan on Saturday and Canada on Tuesday, and Riise was delighted that her players made a confident start.

“We have been waiting for this game a long time and we were so eager to get started,” she said. “Get a good start, get a win, keep them away from our goal, score two goals — it’s a good statement for the games coming up.

“How we started the game was exceptional. The first 30 minutes were the best we’ve played and we kept it going. It wasn’t pretty for the whole game but we fought and we managed to get the result we wanted.

“I asked for a good start and we had a great one.”

Riise reserved particular praise for Manchester City’s White after her brace.

“We trust Ellen to score goals and she does,” the coach said. “Not only goals: she fights hard, she works for 90 minutes to get the goal or other players in. She’s important and brings a lot of confidence to this team.

“It’s a team effort and we really stood out. We are so happy with the squad we have. We can put players on and make a difference and that’s the quality we want.”

White had already seen a goal disallowed for offside before she opened the scoring after 18 minutes, tapping in from close range after Man City teammate Lauren Hemp nodded back Lucy Bronze’s cross.

From then Team GB dominated as disjointed and overrun Chile failed to threaten, with Hemp, Millie Bright and Kim Little shooting off target.

Yet they had to wait until 17 minutes from time for a second, as Bronze’s excellent cross was acrobatically volleyed in by White from six yards.

Chile boss Jose Letelier said: “We have a women’s team who are still growing and we are going to play our game to our fullest potential. We have to learn from this going forward.”

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