GB victory caps golden day - Pearce
Published : 02 Aug 2012 06:47:07
Great Britain coach Stuart Pearce felt his side's 1-0 Millennium Stadium victory over Uruguay had capped a golden day for British sport.
The host nation won their first gold medals of the Games on Wednesday as Bradley Wiggins triumphed in the men's time trial and rowers Helen Glover and Heather Stanning won the women's pair final. Pearce's side ensured the "feelgood factor" continued as the win saw GB top Group A and book a quarter-final meeting with South Korea.
Pearce said: "Today has been a fantastic day with Wiggins winning gold and that spreads right across Great Britain, it brings a feelgood factor to the Olympics and we are glad to have played our part this evening and got the result to get out of the group."
He added: "I also have to mention the women's team, them winning yesterday gave us a real good lift by beating Brazil. They have been playing a day before us and everytime they have got a good result we are trying to emulate them, which is fantastic."
Pearce also praised the support of the 64,000-strong crowd in Cardiff. There had been fears that the national anthem would not be well received in Cardiff, but there were no dissenting voices as God Save the Queen was delivered with gusto.
Pearce's side have shown steady signs of improvement as the tournament has progressed, and they continued to do so here.
The midfield triumvirate of Tom Cleverley, Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen proving particularly impressive as Ryan Giggs was rested, while captain for the night Craig Bellamy was a nuisance throughout to the Uruguay defence.
Pearce added: "I thought all 18 of the players were fantastic, and it excites me to stay in the competition to play at least one more game with this group. We are improving game by game, our fitness levels are improving, our understanding is improving and some of the passing, especially in the first half, was outstanding."
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez refused to be critical of his players, as they became the second fancied side to exit the competition along with World and European champions Spain.
He said: "We were looking for something we didn't get from this game. We worked really hard and created chances even though GB in the last 15 minutes of the first half were better and had a lot of possession. We fought until the end and we have nothing to complain to the players about because they gave their all."