Konate's late strike denies Team GB victory at Old Trafford

Great Britain 1 Senegal 1

Great Britain's Olympic dreams suffered an unexpected setback at Old Trafford tonight as Moussa Konate's late equaliser for Senegal denied them victory.

Craig Bellamy put the hosts in front with a clinical volley early in the contest.

But Stuart Pearce's men were then pushed onto the back foot by the Africans' ultra-physical approach, which largely went unpunished by Uzbek referee Ravshan Irmatov.

Still, it did seem GB had weathered the worst until Konate struck eight minutes from time.

The hosts pushed forward frantically in search of a winner but they came no nearer than a Marvin Sordell effort that crashed against the bar.

And the greatest damage could yet be felt in the dressing room, with both Bellamy and Joe Allen needing to be checked after sustaining worrying knocks.

For all the doubters, who just could not get their head around the concept of a Great Britain team, even at a home Olympics, Old Trafford was still packed at kick-off.

There were even repeated chants of 'GB' rolling round the stands at regular intervals as the two sides engaged in some early sparring.

And when Bellamy became the first GB scorer at an Olympics since Northern Ireland's Patrick Hasty in 1960, there were genuine celebrations, both amongst the fans and, more importantly, the players, who have had three weeks to work together.

There was some justification for Stuart Pearce that all three overage players were involved.

First Ryan Giggs sent over a cross from the right, for which Micah Richards challenged.

It was Steven Caulker who got his head to it though, nodding it down for Bellamy, whose first-time finish flashed past Ousmane Mane and into the far corner.

Not that GB should have been in front for long.

After spending the early part of his summer gaining experience as England's number three keeper at Euro 2012, this was Jack Butland's chance to shine.

The 19-year-old almost blew it though, directing a routine clearance straight to Sadio Mane, who chipped disappointingly wide with only Butland barring the way.

It would be fair to say Senegal like a tackle. And Ryan Bertrand was not the only GB player to get up gingerly rubbing part of the body - in his case an arm - after being clattered.

The introduction of Bolton's Sordell for Daniel Sturridge at half-time was a worry, although not as much as Ibrahima Ba's shot that required a smart low save from Butland to keep it out.

A day before the action starts in the capital, Lord Coe was present, as were Manchester City's Joe Hart, Nigel de Jong and Joleon Lescott.

After signing plenty of autographs at half-time, that trio would doubtless have been impressed with Senegal.

Zargo Toure thundered a shot over before Saliou Ciss brought another decent save out of Butland and Rose cleared a powerful Abdoulaye Ba header off the line.

Joe Allen's exit after an hour was another cause for concern as he had already been down once, and then came another shocker as Ciss wiped Bellamy out on the edge of the area with a tackle that caught the striker around the knee.

Home players charged in to express their disgust, yet GB did not even receive a free-kick.

Bellamy was able to continue, although he was eventually replaced, to the kind of reception he has never experienced at Old Trafford before.

The uplifting atmosphere was punctured by Konate eight minutes from time as he delicately lifted the ball over an advancing Butland to deny GB their win.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent