STURRIDGE THE HERO AS GB PROGRESS

Posted on: Wed 01 Aug 2012

Daniel Sturridge was restored to the starting line-up and scored the decisive goal as Team GB booked their place in the Olympic quarter-finals with a 1-0 win against Uruguay in Cardiff, while Spain were eliminated without scoring a single goal.

Ryan Bertrand played the full 90 minutes after sitting out Sunday's win over UAE, as Stuart Pearce's side survived a couple of late scares to top the group and progress to a date with South Korea.

Chances proved few and far between in what was, at times, an ill-tempered affair, but it was a determined, gutsy performance by a team who have only been together for a matter of weeks.

The winner came in added time of the first-half, when Sturridge pounced to stab home from close-range - his second goal in as many games - after some fantastic build-up play by Scott Sinclair and Joe Allen.

The 23-year-old went close again 10 minutes from time, forcing a smart save from the goalkeeper after a quick counter-attack, and while Uruguay rattled the bar in the closing stages, GB held on for a memorable win.

Oscar, meanwhile, came on for a 10-minute cameo at the Sports Direct Arena as Brazil cruised to a 3-0 win over New Zealand to maintain their 100 per cent record.

The tournament favourites, who had already secured their place in the quarter-finals, appeared to be able to cut the New Zealand defence open at will, and it was no surprise when Danilo put them in front after 23 minutes.

Leandro Damiao made it 2-0 six minutes later before Sandro put the game to bed seven minutes into the second half, arriving at the back-post to force home a Neymar free-kick.

It was a dismal exit from the competition for Spain as they could only muster a goalless draw against Morocco at Old Trafford.

Juan Mata was their standout performer, going close on three separate occasions, while Blues teammate Oriol Romeu, who also played the full 90 minutes, went close late in the game, only to see his header cleared off the line.