The 2012 Olympic Games: Mens Football Day One

After a dream of an opening round in the women’s Olympic football, the men showed how international football tournaments SHOULD be done; three dismissals, plenty of playacting, a group of death, defensive mindsets…and a domestic team unable to keep the ball and, consequentially, a 1-0 lead. And yet… the opening round of the men’s Olympic football was a long way from the cagey affair normally associated with the big finals. Most of the first halves were a bit ropey. But most of them were at least part-redeemed by what followed the intervals. While goals didn’t exactly fly in, a few that did will live in the memory. As will “Spain 0 Japan 1.” And Brazil’s game of two halves against Egypt could be the tournament’s signature match. If there’s a better one to come, it’ll be worth trawling the BBC Olympic Channels for. Team GB, as we seemed destined to have to call them, were 200% better than against Brazil last week. But the benefits of being a proper team gave Senegal their point, which they deserved, despite it also being thanks to an all-time shocking refereeing decision, when Saliou Ciss’s assault on Craig Bellamy, went unacknowledged. The Manchester United fans who had booed Bellamy until then booed Ciss from then. Bellamy’s  19th minute goal was Britain’s first at an Olympic finals since…someone a while back. Commentator Jonathan Pearce...

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