Senegal late show denies Team GB

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Football News

Team GB were denied a win in their first game of the men's Olympic football tournament last night after Senegal struck late to cancel out Craig Bellamy's first half opener.

Amid skepticism from the host country a decent crowd gathered at Old Trafford in Manchester to see the first Team GB football team compete in the games since 1972, and it looked as though their endeavour would be rewarded as Bellamy tucked the ball home after 20 minutes to put Great Britain ahead.

Ryan Giggs, the oldest outfield player to ever play at the Olympics, swung in a dangerous ball after Tottenham's Danny Rose had been bought down in a dangerous area, with Bellamy free in the box to tuck the ball home after Senegal had failed to clear their lines.

If Bellamy's goal had lifted the crowd and encouraged the jubilant atmosphere in Old Trafford, goalkeeper Jack Butland's almost costly area came close to spoiling the party soon after as his disastrous clearance fell straight to Sadio Mane 20 yards out from goal without a defender in sight, only for the Senegalese midfielder to chip his effort hopelessly wide.

The first half came to a close with little incident, although as a taste of what was to come Pape Souare's crunching tackle on Neil Taylor drew a well-deserved booking.

After the break the match continued in a similar fashion to the first half, with Team GB trying to establish their rhythm while Senegal looked to pounce forward at break-neck speed, a tactic which forced Butland into a fine save from Ibrahima Balde's shot mid-way through the second half.

As the game progressed Senegal appeared the side most likely to score next, although they were winning few fans with their hard tackling approach - Bellamy felt the full force of Saliou Ciss who should have seen red for his dangerous knee-high tackle.

Team GB were struggling to keep themselves going forward as the second half progressed, and eventually Senegalese pressure took its toll. With eight minutes remaining the African side deservedly pulled the scores level as a fantastic pass put Moussa Konate through on goal, with the striker doing the rest.

The draw means Group A looks likely to go down to the wire, with rivals Uruguay securing a 2-1 win over UAE earlier in the day.

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Ryan Giggs
Craig Bellamy

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