Olympics football: Ryan Giggs inspires GB win over UAE

Great Britain beat UAE 3-1 at Wembley to ensure a draw against Uruguay in their final group game will take them through to the quarter-finals.

Skipper Ryan Giggs headed the opener and Tom Cleverley hit the post as GB led at the break.

Rashed Eisa equalised with a composed finish in front of an increasingly anxious Wembley crowd.

But substitute Scott Sinclair struck a minute after coming on and Daniel Sturridge's deft chip sealed the win.

Analysis

"I just feel tonight the team looked a bit more sturdy. The back four looked a little more rigid and they knew exactly where the other players were. Ryan Giggs was floating in that Teddy Sheringham role and the starting line-up was a bit more 'Great Britain'."

It was a far from comfortable match for Stuart Pearce's team and there were times after UAE's second-half equaliser when the occasional boo could be heard inside the stadium.

The mood changed completely when GB struck twice in three minutes but there is room for improvement when they play Uruguay in Cardiff on Wednesday.

Uruguay, one of the pre-tournament favourites, were stunned 2-0 by 10-man Senegal at Wembley earlier in the day.

Moussa Konate scored twice for the African side, who had to play for more than an hour with 10 men after the dismissal of Aboulaye Ba following a professional foul on Luis Suarez.

Senegal, like GB, now have four points and take on a UAE side who have lost both of their Group A games.

Uruguay have three points to GB's four, which means a draw will be enough for Pearce's team to reach the last eight.

There was little to excite the crowd in the opening phase of Sunday's game between GB and UAE, with fans starting a Mexican wave as early as the fifth minute.

But home supporters were given something to cheer when GB's Welsh connection struck again.

Giggs had started the move from which Bellamy scored against Senegal last Thursday, but it was the latter who assumed the role of creator on Sunday, delivering a deep cross that Giggs headed home.

Ryan Giggs's record

  • At 38 years and 243 days, Ryan Giggs became the oldest man to appear in the Olympic soccer competition and he is now also the oldest scorer, thanks to his rare headed goal

Aaron Ramsey, one of three changes along with striker Marvin Sordell and James Tomkins, was impressive on the right and started a move that culminated in a shot from Bellamy that Ali Khaseif saved.

Ramsey also picked out Sordell but the Bolton striker's shot from 18 yards took a slight deflection before the keeper tipped it around the post for a corner.

There were large periods in the opening 45 minutes when UAE looked threatening and it took a good block to deny Eisa, while Ahmed Khalil later surged past right-back Micah Richards before delivering a low pass across the face of goal.

The game could have taken a decisive turn before the break but midfielder Cleverley was extremely unfortunate to see his 18-yard strike hit both posts before rebounding to safety after superb work by Bellamy.

UAE levelled after the break when Eisa collected a through ball and glided past Tomkins before slotting his effort beyond Jack Butland.

There was a real sense of panic inside the ground and Butland was forced to make a great save with his legs to deny Khalil after a quick exchange of passes opened up the GB defence.

But the impressive Bellamy crossed for Sinclair to level before Cleverley played a brilliant pass for Sturridge, who struck the decisive third.