Cork keeping GB Olympic dream alive

First published in Sport

Former Glyn Technology School student Jack Cork's Olympic dream is still alive after Great Britain stormed to the top of their group with a comfortable win over UAE last night.

Stuart Pearce's young team held off a talented UAE side at Wembley to secure a 3-1 win and top Group A with one match to play.

For the second consecutive match Southampton player Cork was brought in as a replacement for Welshman Craig Bellamy.

The 23-year-old played an attacking midfield role and helped the side keep possession and see off UAE who had briefly threatened to take the lead earlier in the contest.

Captain Ryan Giggs, 38, rose to meet Bellamy's cross after 14 minutes to give GB the lead, and become the oldest goalscorer in Olympic history.

But after wasting a number of chances Rashed Eisa equalised for United Arab Emirates and five minutes later GB could easily have fallen behind.

However, a clever substitution by Pearce with 20 minutes to go saw replacement Scott Sinclair, from Swansea, score with his first touch of the ball.

The win was sealed within five minutes when Manchester United playmaker Tom Cleverley played a superb through ball to Chelsea forward Daniel Sturridge who brilliantly lifted it over the out rushing Emirates' goalkeeper.

After drawing 1-1 with Senegal in their opening game, Great Britain remain slight favourites to beat Uruguay, containing Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, in the group decider to guarantee qualification for the latter stages of the competition. Speaking after yesterday's win, midfielder Cork said: "The opening ceremony was amazing on Friday night, I've never seen anything like it.

"It was great to get a win though tonight. It was just what we needed to kick on now. But there is a huge game on Wednesday so we hope everyone can get behind us again." Cork and the rest of the squad's gold medal hopes received a major boost however after favourites, and World, European and youth champions, Spain lost to minnows Honduras on Sunday.

The result was Spain's second defeat after last week's 1-0 loss to Japan. Brazil represent the toughest opponents left in the tournament although GB will have to be wary of the threat from a young but rapidly improving Mexico side.

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