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Hege Riise feels Team GB sent a message to Olympic rivals with win over Chile

Tokyo Olympics Soccer
(Image credit: Silvia Izquierdo)

Boss Hege Riise believes Team GB sent out a statement after 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 on Wednesday.

Team GB also face hosts Japan on Saturday and then Canada on Tuesday at the Games.

The side – primarily made up of England players – had played just one warm-up game together and, as a Team GB football squad returned for just their second Olympics, Riise was delighted with their display.

She said: “We have been waiting for this game a long time and we were so eager to get started. 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.

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

Riise, who won gold as a player with Norway in 2000, also reserved praise for Manchester City’s White after her brace.

She added: “We trust Ellen to score goals and she does. 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.

Tokyo Olympics Soccer

Ellen White opens the scoring against Chile. (Silvia Izquierdo/AP)

“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 Manchester City team-mate 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 when Bronze’s excellent cross was acrobatically volleyed in by White from six yards.

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Chile boss Jose Letelier said: “We knew going into it Great Britain were a very powerful team. In the first half we got good close opportunities which we could have taken advantage of more.

“We have to be objective and we know Great Britain were better than us in this game.

“We tried to keep up with them and during the second half it was harder to get into their area. Without a doubt we have to surpass these obstacles.

“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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