GB advance to quarter-finals

Great Britain's men followed the women into the Olympic quarter-finals as Daniel Sturridge netted in a 1-0 win over Uruguay in Cardiff.

Last Updated: 01/08/12 at 22:16 Post Comment

Sturridge: Mobbed by team-mates after scoring the winner

Sturridge: Mobbed by team-mates after scoring the winner

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And Stuart Pearce's men admirably opted not to follow the lead of those discredited badminton players by trying to engineer a result that would keep them out of Brazil's way until the final.

Instead, should they come through a last-eight meeting with South Korea in Cardiff on Saturday evening, they will face the hot favourites at Old Trafford next Tuesday.

Had Gaston Ramirez's injury-time effort not rattled the bar, they would have avoided that fate.

It is a shame too, because with Spain already out and Uruguay making their exit here in typically bad-tempered fashion, GB would otherwise be a strong contender to reach the final at Wembley on August 11.

Not that Pearce and his team should be criticised for that.

Sturridge's goal was the least they deserved from yet another encouraging display, which maintained improvement from previous matches.

The Chelsea man has now scored two in two games, a fact the watching Roy Hodgson - whose England team take on Italy in a fortnight - cannot help but have noticed.

Given the geographical nature of this tournament, maybe it is impossible for the footballers to really feel part of Team GB.

There is no doubt though that over the past month, through a kitting-out session at Loughborough, a combined visit to the Olympic Village a week later, and then time spent in the north-east around that double-header in Middlesbrough, a bond has been forged between the men's and women's teams.

It is impossible therefore to believe Stuart Pearce's squad have not been able to feed off the sensational performances of Hope Powell's counterparts, culminating in that outstanding win over Brazil 24 hours ago.

And they were eager to make it a case of whatever you can do, so can we.

And, with a Welsh crowd offering their unequivocal backing through a lusty rendition of God Save The Queen, Britain went about their task with relish.

As a draw was the actual requirement, it could not be described as a gung-ho attitude.

But at times, Britain's approach work was marvellous, with Aaron Ramsey in particular showing the kind of form that attracted Arsenal to him before a badly broken leg and subsequent loss of confidence turned some sections of the Gunners support against him.

It was Ramsey who flashed a first-half shot across goal, one of those that bisected the far post and the outstretched legs of Sturridge and Scott Sinclair.

Craig Bellamy, named skipper in the absence of rested Ryan Giggs, also came close to turning home Micah Richards' knock-down.

The clock was ticking down towards the interval though when Allen wove a neat pattern inside the Uruguay box before drilling the low cross which Sturridge prodded home from close range.

Luis Suarez ended the half throwing a piece of loose turf to the ground in disgust.

The South Americans, so fancied beforehand, had been a major disappointment and this was no exception.

Suarez was one of the major culprits too, which merely fuelled the boos that rang out before kick-off and every time the Liverpool man touched the ball afterwards.

His mood would not have improved 10 minutes after the restart when he created space for himself deep inside the Britain box, only to be foiled by the imposing figure of Jack Butland, the teenage goalkeeper who is having such an outstanding tournament.

The 19-year-old did even better when Uruguay attacked again, this time denying Suarez with a full-length fingertip save, Edinson Cavani helping him out by belting the rebound into the sidenetting.

When he was subsequently booked for handball, the cheers at least made a change.

The next time he heard them was to signal the end of Uruguay's interest in the competition.

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o be fair, one of the reasons its so difficult for certain clubs to get close to Real Madrid or Barcelona is once they have a player who is good enough to compete against the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona, they f*ck off, usually to either Real Madrid or Barcelona.

hump3.
Simeone baffled by PL failure

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nd we always will love Ozil. I don't really mind if no other team can see just how brilliant he is, or if people think he is rubbish, because we know he is far from it. He is a fantastic player, and if people cannot see that it can only be a good thing, in that he will be at Arsenal for years to come, pulling the strings from behind a glass veil.

ganachus
F365's Top Ten Unheralded Players Of The Season

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like the list and Ozil in particular does seem under appreciated when you look at his stats (an odd thing considering his fee or maybe because of it). Palace have a few and I've always thought Dwight Gayle at Palace was under rated, certainly when you look at his goals per game ratio. You can probably also add Ryan Bertrand at Saints who should be in the England team in my view.

sensiblepoolfan
F365's Top Ten Unheralded Players Of The Season

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