Stuart Pearce sets sights on gold as Team GB progress to quarter-finals

 

Stuart Pearce saw his Great Britain side take a step closer to an Olympic medal by beating Uruguay last night but insists gold is the only colour he is planning for.

The 1-0 win over the south Americans at the Millennium Stadium, courtesy of Daniel Sturridge's second goal of the tournament, saw Great Britain top Group A and set up a last-eight clash with South Korea in Cardiff on Saturday.

And Pearce knows victory there will put he and his squad within sight of a podium finish.

He said: "All the teams in the quarter-finals know they have two shots at getting a medal if you get to the semi-finals.

"If you are unsuccessful in the semi-finals you get the shot at the bronze so the importance of the next game is pretty high."

But Pearce only has sights for winning the competition and, after ensuring Uruguay follow fellow pre-tournament favourites Spain out of the tournament, believes his side might be coming to the boil, right on cue for a potential last-four clash with Brazil.

"We have only ever planned to win the tournament," he said.

"Brazil going into the tournament were vast favourites and their performance when we played them in Middlesbrough echoed those thoughts and they have done very well so far.

"But football is quite funny, when you get games coming thick and fast, every three days, the mental and physical side plays a big part and from here on in there will be some sides flat to the boards physically, so you can't pre-judge results at this stage."

Pearce also praised the fans in Cardiff, who respected the singing of God Save the Queen and were vociferous in their backing of the home side.

But one man not so enamoured with the home fans was Uruguay striker Luis Suarez, who was booed throughout and said there was a "total lack of respect" when some spectators booed the Uruguayan national anthem..

The Liverpool forward said: "I think they jeer me and they boo me here because they must be scared of facing a player like me. They fear me, but that doesn't affect me.

"I'm hurt because we lost and we are going home. We all had a dream and that was to win the gold medal here.

"I can take the abuse. I don't mind. But I think it was a total lack of respect from the crowd to boo when we were trying to sing our national anthem. I think those things should not happen."

Elsewhere in the tournament, Mexico topped Group B with a 1-0 win over Switzerland in Cardiff, while Gabon and South Korea played out a goalless draw at Wembley.

Brazil ended Group C with a 100 per cent record by beating New Zealand 3-0, with Egypt's 3-1 win over Belarus giving the African nation second place and a quarter-final berth.

The games in Group D between Japan and Honduras and Spain and Morocco ended goalless, with Japan and Honduras progressing.

PA

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