Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Great Britain held by Senegal

27 July 2012, 07:48

Manchester - Hosts Britain were denied victory on their return to the Olympic Games after a 52-year absence when they were held to a 1-1 draw by debutants Senegal in their opening Group A match at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Britain looked to be heading for victory after Welsh veteran Craig Bellamy, at 33 one of their over-age players, lashed home after 20 minutes.

But Senegal, who rallied strongly after the break, equalised in the 82nd minute when Moussa Konate timed his run perfectly to stay onside and clip the ball past goalkeeper Jack Butland.

Britain almost stole all three points in the 88th minute when Aaron Ramsey set up substitute Marvin Sordell but he shot against the bar.

The men's soccer competition is contested by Under-23 teams who are allowed to field three players over that age, but the Brits have been absent since the Rome Games of 1960 because of political differences involving Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland regarding their own independence within FIFA.

But all that was forgotten as a near capacity crowd of 72 476 enjoyed a memorable night which began with Uruguay beating the United Arab Emirates 2-1 in the group opener.

They were also close to witnessing a British win, but were denied the chance despite an excellent performance from Britain's other Welsh veteran, skipper Ryan Giggs.

At 38 years and eight months old, and playing on his home Manchester United ground, Giggs became the oldest outfield soccer player ever to appear in the Olympic finals.

Giggs also had a hand in Bellamy's goal as the Senegal defence failed to clear his free-kick. The ball fell to Bellamy who scored with a fierce volley into the ground that flew up past goalkeeper Ousmane Mane.

Britain, playing only their second match together since the Olympics squad was announced, seemed far more settled from the start than they were at any time during last week's warm-up against Brazil in Middlesbrough which they lost 2-0.

However, they lacked bite in the second half and that was always inviting danger against Senegal, who qualified for their first Olympics after beating Oman 2-0 in a playoff at Coventry in April and had certainly not come to make up the numbers.

Senegal's tall, physically strong and hard-running side - typified by captain Mohamed Diame who has just moved from Wigan Athletic to West Ham United in the Premier League - deserved a point from a well-contested game.

But they also wasted a golden chance to equalise soon after Bellamy's goal when Sadio Mane dinked the ball wide after Butland made a rare mistake and hit a weak clearance straight to him.

Britain next face the United Arab Emirates while Uruguay play Senegal in another double-header at Wembley on Sunday.

Results on Thursday from the men's soccer event at the Olympic Games:

Preliminary Round

Honduras 2, Morocco 2

Mexico 0, South Korea 0

Japan 1, Spain 0

Uruguay 2, United Arab Emirates 1

Gabon 1, Switzerland 1

Belarus 1, New Zealand 0

Brazil 3, Egypt 2

Great Britain 1, Senegal 1

- Sport24


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...