Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Sturridges Fires Team GB into Quarter-Final

Team GB 1-0 Uruguay:
Sturridge sends hosts
through as group
winners to set up South
Korea tie
Stuart Pearce's men progress as
Group A winners after a
relatively comfortable victory
over the South Americans who
have been poor throughout the
Team GB have
progressed to the
knockout phase
of the Olympics as
Group A winners
after a fairly
comfortable 1-0
win over the
disappointing Uruguay.
Stuart Pearce's men controlled
much of the match before some
late pressure from the South
Americans, and although there
weren't many clear-cut chances in
the first period, GB went into the
break in the lead as Daniel
Sturridge netted in stoppage time.
In a similar fashion to the first
period, chances hardly flowed
after half-time, but Sturridge
almost got a second late on as he
forced Martin Campana in the
Uruguay goal to tip his effort
round the post, while Gaston
Ramirez came close with a
stinging drive that crashed off the
bar in injury time.
Pearce made three changes to the
team that beat UAE 3-1 with James
Tomkins, Ryan Giggs and Marvin
Sordell dropping to the bench in
favour of Ryan Bertrand, Scott
Sinclair and Daniel Sturridge.
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez also
made a number of changes, as
Matias Aguirregaray, Diego
Rodriguez and former AC Milan
youngster Tabare Viudez replaced
Emiliano Arias, Nicolas Lodeiro and
Maxi Calzado, respectively.
The hosts started in positive
fashion with Craig Bellamy getting
plenty of involvement from the off,
as the Welshman crossed in from
the right, but Scott Sinclair's back-
post header was blocked at the
critical stage.
GB continued to press the
Uruguayans and some good work
by Aaron Ramsey down the left
won a corner, from which Alexis
Rolin was forced to clear just in
front of the goal line after Steven
Caulker beat Sebastian Coates in
the air.
However, moments later Coates
did triumph in the air and came
close to giving his side the lead as
the Liverpool man nodded Luis
Suarez's left-wing free-kick over
the bar, but he should have at
least hit the target.
Bellamy and Ramsey were having
an impressive first-half and they
linked up excellently down the
right as the forward played a
disguised pass inside to the
Arsenal man who fizzed a smart
ball across the penalty area, but it
sailed through without anyone
getting contact on it.
Coates was soon causing aerial
problems once again for GB,
connecting with Diego
Rodriguez's corner, heading it
downwards towards goal before
it bounced up and struck Joe Allen,
leading to intense calls for a
penalty, however replays showed
the ball quite clearly hit the
Swansea man in the chest.
After imposing a significant
amount of control over Uruguay,
GB finally took the lead in first-half
added time, and it was brilliantly
Scott Sinclair cut inside before
slipping an inch-perfect pass in
behind the defence for Allen. The
Wales international cut the ball
back and found Sturridge amidst a
crowd of players in the area, but
the Chelsea man was able to poke
the ball into an open goal,
allowing Stuart Pearce's side to go
into the break in the lead.

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