By William Wood | In Olympics
Team GB needed just a draw to secure their progression to the quarter final of the Olympics – but grabbed a well-earned 1-0 win to line-up a clash with South Korea instead.
In front of a 70,000 bumper crowd, Stuart Pearce’s side ground out the win against a disappointing Uruguay side boasting, among others, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez.
A Daniel Sturridge tap-in towards the end of the first-half was sufficient as the home favourites move into the knock-out stage, and in truth Pearce’s men were never really troubled.
Team GB got off to a bright start with Craig Bellamy lively down the right, and his dangerous cross just evaded Scott Sinclair early doors. At the other end, Uruguay were looking very lacklustre, though Gaston Ramirez went close with a powerful effort from 30-yards.
Suarez did find a yard of space as he evaded a couple of Team GB defenders, but Micah was on hand to make the challenge and take the sting out of his shot with half an hour gone, and a penalty appeal from the Uruguayans was turned down by the impressive referee moments later when the ball struck Joe Allen’s chest.
Pearce’s side had 68% of the possession in the first-half and it paid off in injury time, with Liverpool target Allen putting it on a plate for Sturridge who in turn flicked home to make it 1-0.
Uruguay were an improved proposition in the second half, though they’d have struggled to be any worse, and Suarez went close early on as he worked his way into the box only for the imperious Jack Butland to dive at his feet.
Micah connected with a corner after 60 minutes but couldn’t quite get over the ball, whilst Butland was again called into action to deny Suarez with a solid stop moments later.
Suarez had another fine chance but was judged to have used his hands to control the ball, much to the striker’s bemusement, and despite their best efforts, Uruguay just couldn’t find a way through.
With the seconds ticking, Ramirez rattled the crossbar with a fine, laser-like shot late on, but that aside Team GB saw out the remainder of the game to secure a solid win in an unspectacular game.
Uruguay: Campana; Arias, Coates, Rolin, Aguirregaray; Ramirez, Rodriguez, Arevalo; Cavani, Suarez, Viudez
Team GB: Butland; Taylor, Caulker, Richards, Bertand; Cleverley, Allen, Ramsey, Sinclair; Bellamy, Sturridge