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Sturridge strike sends Team GB into last eight

Team GB 1-0 Uruguay 

Daniel Sturridge’s first-half goal was enough to see off Uruguay at the Millenium Stadium and send Stuart Pearce’s side into the last eight of the competition.

The Chelsea striker latched onto a low Joe Allen cross inside the six-yard box, to tap home in the dying moments of the first-half, much to the delight of the Welsh crowd.

Many had wondered how a British team would be received in the Welsh capital but there was no need for any doubts, the national anthem was subjected to rapturous applause from a packed Cardiff crowd.

Pulling the strings 

Welsh favourite Craig Bellamy, who has arguably been the best player for GB so far, was at the heart of the attack once again in the opening exchanges, nearly setting up Scott Sinclair to head home at the far post within the first six minutes.

Bellamy and Aaron Ramsey both looked to pull the strings but Team GB’s defence was left exposed inside 20 minutes, when Sebastian Coates broke free from his marker but could only head over the bar.

Much was made of Uruguay’s attacking force of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani before the game but neither could adequately stamp their authority in the first half.

It was Suarez’s potential new Liverpool team-mate Allen, who helped create the breakthrough on the stroke of half-time.

The Swansea playmaker fooled his marker with a wonderful turn inside the box, squaring to Sturridge, who was left with a simple tap-in from six yards.

Sturridge was brought back down to earth though in the opening minute of the second half, hitting the post from almost point-blank range after some good work again from Bellamy down the right wing.

Butland at his best again 

Uruguay started to press and Suarez nearly managed to level the score, after breaking free from the Team GB defence, forcing Jack Butland to rush out and smother.

Butland was called into action again ten minutes later, denying Suarez with a fine low save, before Cavani fired the rebound just wide.

It was a frustrating night for the Uruguayans, who just could not find a way through.

Gaston Ramirez hit the bar in the dying minutes and Suarez forced a smart save from Butland with the last kick of the game from a free-kick.

This priceless victory means Team GB stay in Cardiff to face South Korea in the quarter-finals, while Uruguay become the latest pre-tournament favourite to crash out.

By Tom Coleman - Follow me on Twitter @tomEcoleman

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