By William Wood | In Olympics
Great Britain had to settle for a draw in a historic opening match to their Olympics campaign, with Micah lining up in the centre of defence.
Stuart Pearce’s men ended a 52-year hiatus when they took to the field, and a packed Old Trafford crowd were treated to an engaging clash with exciting moments despite the home favourites having to settle for a draw.
An early Senegal penalty appeal was turned down when the ball struck Ryan Bertrand, whilst Tom Cleverley’s long-range effort was comfortably saved. At the other hand, Micah and his fellow defenders were looking much more sturdy than in the last outing against Brazil, with the backline making a series of decisive interventions early on.
With 20 minutes on the clock, Pearce’s side grabbed the lead. Craig Bellamy was brought down on the right flank, and Ryan Giggs’ subsequent free-kick found its way back to his compatriot who volleyed into the ground and beyond Ousmane Mane to make it 1-0.
At the other end, a poor clearance by Jack Butland found its way to Sadio Mane, but with the goal at his mercy he could only chip the ball wide of the right-hand post to hand GB’s stopper a reprieve.
The remainder of the half was a low key affair, and the next real notable event was the replacement of Daniel Sturridge with Marvin Sordell, the former perhaps feeling the effects of his recent illness, whilst Butland was called in to immediate action as Ibrahima Balde went close with a snapshot.
Balde went close again soon after with a header that required a clearance from danger by Danny Rose, and at the other end Bellamy was denied a clear-cut penalty when he was forcibly brought down after the ball had gone.
However, the growing enthusiasm from the crowd was to be silenced minutes later as Great Britain failed to capitalise on a corner, and a Senegal counter-attack found its way to Moussa Konate who found the back of the net with a deft flick over Butland to make it 1-1.
Micah went close with a header as the home nations outfit pushed for a winner, whilst Sordell certainly should have found the back of the net with a shot from seven yards out that rebounded off the crossbar.
A final chance went begging for Senegal as Mane’s free-header flew wide, and both sides had to settle for a point apiece.
Great Britain: Butland, Richards, Caulker, Taylor, Bertrand, Cleverley, Allen, Giggs, Bellamy, Sturridge, Rose. Subs: Steele, Dawson, Tomkins, Cork, Ramsey, Sinclair, Sordell.
Senegal: Ousmane Mane, Souare, Ciss, Ba, Papa Gueye, Toure, Konate, Sadio Mane, Diame, Idrissa Gana Gueye, Ibra. Subs: Camara, Seck, Kouyate, Mbodji, Yero, Magaye Gueye, Badji.