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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H

ow are people still backing Arsenal for the title? It's like you're predicting the tide not to come in; Arsenal will finish third or fourth and make the quarter final of the Champions League. It was ever thus.

thefuldutch
F365's Season Predictions

N

othing screams 'Panic!!' when your new manager brings Fellaini on as a sub for your star signing of the summer and within 5 minutes you concede the winner. I know it is only the first game in but I would seriously be sh1**ng myself I was a Man Utd supporter. This has the potential of being very nasty indeed.

stevemelbourne
Now Are You Nervous, Louis?

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n the words of Pete Townsend, meet the new boss, the same as the old boss. Though I would comment that it's 3 more points than we picked up in the same fixture last year, so that's a 100% improvement.

uncle monty
No Sign That Liverpool Will Lessen Attacking Intent

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