Team GB marked its return to competitive action with a 1-1 draw against Senegal in their 2012 Olympics clash, with a first half Craig Bellamy goal being cancelled out by a late Moussa Konate effort.
GB coach Stuart Pearce made two changes from the side that lost 2-0 to Brazil with Jack Butland replacing Jason Steele in goal and Steven Caulker coming in for James Tomkins, while Senegal included new West Ham signing Mohamed Diame.
Both sides failed to dominate the opening minutes of the game with Team GB narrowly edging possession.
The opening goal of the game arrived in the 20th minute when the Senegalese defense failed to clear a wide free-kick whipped in from Ryan Giggs. Abdoulaye Ba’s weak header landed at the feet of Bellamy who steadied himself before hitting a calm finish into the back of the net.
The visitors were gifted a fantastic chance to equalize shortly after when Butland’s poor clearance could only pick out Sadio Mane. However the Metz midfielder fired narrowly wide with the Birmingham City stopper bearing down on him.
This seemed to spark Senegal in to action and Mane had another presentable opportunity to score just minutes later but saw his effort blocked by Micah Richards desperate lunge. This turned out to be the last real chance of the half and Pearce’s side went in holding onto their narrow lead.
Senegal started the second half the brighter and again came close to leveling the game. Ibrahima Balde done well to work some space before forcing Butland into a smart save.
Team GB continued to ride its luck and was again thankful to Butland who dived well to palm a fierce Saliou Cisse effort behind. From the resulting corner Danny Rose jumped high to head another Balde effort off the line.
The match heated up with twenty minutes remaining when Bellamy went down inside the area under a lunging tackle from Ciss. However the Liverpool man’s appeals for a spot-kick went unanswered to the dismay of his teammates.
With less than 10 minutes remaining Konate latched onto a superb through ball from out wide to chip the ball over the on rushing Butland and gives his side a deserved equaliser.
Team GB came close to regaining its lead late on when second-half substitute Aaron Ramsey picked out Marvin Sordell in the middle of the area but the Bolton man could only hit the bar.
Next up for Team GB is a match against the United Arab Emirates at Wembley Stadium, while Senegal face Uruguay.
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- Jack Butland
- Team GB