Sturridge plots route towards Brazil

Great Britain’s men followed the women into the Olympic quarter-finals as Daniel Sturridge netted the only goal against Uruguay at the Millennium Stadium last night.

And Stuart Pearce’s men admirably opted not to follow the lead of those discredited badminton players by trying to engineer a result that would keep them out of Brazil’s way until the final.

Instead, should they come through a last-eight meeting with South Korea in Cardiff on Saturday evening, they will face the hot favourites at Old Trafford next Tuesday.

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Had Gaston Ramirez’s injury-time effort not rattled the bar, they would have avoided that fate.

It is a shame too, because with Spain already out and Uruguay making their exit here in typically bad-tempered fashion, GB would otherwise be a strong contender to reach the final at Wembley on August 11.

Not that Pearce and his team should be criticised for that.

Sturridge’s goal was the least they deserved from yet another encouraging display, which maintained improvement from previous matches.

The Chelsea man has now scored two in two games, a fact the watching Roy Hodgson – whose England team take on Italy in a fortnight – cannot help but have noticed.

Britain went about their task with relish.

As a draw was the actual requirement, it could not be described as a gung-ho attitude.

But at times, Britain’s approach work was marvellous, with Aaron Ramsey in particular showing the kind of form that attracted Arsenal to him before a badly broken leg and subsequent loss of confidence turned some sections of the Gunners support against him.

It was Ramsey who flashed a first-half shot across goal, one of those that bisected the far post and the outstretched legs of Sturridge and Scott Sinclair.

Craig Bellamy, named skipper in the absence of rested Ryan Giggs, also came close to turning home Micah Richards’s knock-down.

The clock was ticking down towards the interval though when Allen wove a neat pattern inside the Uruguay box before drilling the low cross which Sturridge prodded home from close range.

Luis Suarez ended the half throwing a piece of loose turf to the ground in disgust.

The South Americans, so fancied beforehand, had been a major disappointment and this was no exception.

Suarez was one of the major culprits too, which merely fuelled the boos that rang out before kick-off and every time the Liverpool man touched the ball afterwards.

His mood would not have improved 10 minutes after the restart when he created space for himself deep inside the Britain box, only to be foiled by the imposing figure of Jack Butland.

Egypt joined Brazil in the quarter-finals and will now face Japan after they swept Belarus aside 3-1.