Pearce backs GB men to slip through under the radar

 

The more medals Great Britain have hauled in during the last few days, the more Stuart Pearce has enjoyed it; and not just because the coach of the men's football team is a noted patriot. He believes that all the attention elsewhere, together with a certain scepticism about the Olympic football tournament in British circles, has helped his squad remain "under the radar".

Having played in front of crowds averaging 70,000 for their three group matches, that may appear an odd suggestion, but it is true that football has not hogged the back pages – or the front of the many sports sections – as normal. Indeed, a slow start with the 1-1 draw against Senegal further diminished expectations, which Pearce believes has been beneficial in the subsequent victories over United Arab Emirates and Uruguay that earned tonight's quarter-final against South Korea at the Millennium Stadium.

"There's a level slant on the expectations of the team and probably in some ways it should be like that with England," he said. "It has been good for us and has kept our heads under the radar." Winning tonight would change that to some extent, in all likelihood bringing a semi-final against Brazil at Old Trafford on Tuesday and a three-in-four chance of winning a medal; losing semi-finalists play off for bronze in Cardiff next Friday.

The quarter-finals offer a cosmopolitan field in which Britain are the only European survivors. South Korea qualified with a low-scoring run of results against Mexico (0-0), Switzerland (2-1) and Gabon (0-0), suggesting they may be difficult to break down but may not offer much in attack, where Park Ju-young, little used by Arsenal since joining them last summer, has been preferred to Sunderland's Ji Dong-won. The additional incentive for their players is that an Olympic medal entitles them to avoid two years' compulsory military service. "They've been a really consistent side," Pearce said.

Although maligned in some quarters, Pearce has tournament experience on his side as player and manager, and knows all about the spectre of penalties, which could come into play tonight. His players have been practising them at every training session.

Kick-off 7.30pm, Millennium Stadium (Red button)

Referee W Roldan (Col)

Odds Great Britain Evs Draw 9-4; South Korea 13-5

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam