London 2012 Olympics Focus – Group A

The final round of matches in Group A of the London 2012 Olympic football tournament have the potential to either shock the pundits or leave the situation as the majority had predicted. Team GB face the dangerous Uruguay at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff knowing that a draw will see them go through at the expense of their South American opponents.

Stuart Pearce’s side were far too good in the end for a determined United Arab Emirates team in their last match, with a 3-1 win that will definitely need to be improved upon to dispatch of La Celeste. Captain Ryan Giggs will lead out Team GB side in his hometown, along with fellow Welshman Craig Bellamy, and both have pleaded in the build-up to the game for Welsh fans to maintain their dignity and not jeer the national anthem. Giggs has been in good form throughout the tournament so far and will be looking to inspire Team GB’s progression to the knockout phases.

Uruguay’s frontline of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani were earmarked as potential dangers ahead of the group, but they have not scored yet in the tournament and there is pressure on the strikers to produce when their country needs it most. They started poorly against UAE in their first game and were subjected to a physical approach from Senegal, which saw them lose 2-0 in the second match.

Oscar Tabarez’s side will need to show some of their quality to get past Team GB and may look to take advantage of the fact that Team GB only need a point. The Millennium Stadium will host 69,000 people and both teams are desperate to be back in Cardiff on Saturday for the quarter-final.

In the other group match, Senegal are looking to continue their impressive form against UAE who have yet to pick up a single point. Former Birmingham City midfielder Aliou Cisse is in charge of Senegal and they have been criticised for a physical approach in their two games. The Lions of Teranga were forced to play the remaining 63 minutes against Uruguay with ten men after Abdoulaye Ba’s cynical hacking of Luis Suarez. Senegal still triumphed with a 2-0 win thanks to impressive teenager Moussa Konate, who plays his club football with Israeli side Maccabi Tel-Aviv.

UAE on the other hand know they have no chance of qualifying for the knockout phases and will see the final game against Senegal as a chance to express themselves in front of a large crowd. There have been stages where the Emirati side have played well and even worried Team GB at moments during their game on Saturday, but have never had the quality to cause any problems. They will merely be passers-by in a final match that Senegal know they only need a point to qualify, which they should be able to obtain without great difficulty.

Related posts

Leave a Comment