x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Full-strength Team Great Britain lacklustre so far

Ryan Giggs-led national team lose to Mexico in a warm-up game ahead of London 2012.

Ryan Giggs, centre, in a training session last week, will need to inspire his Team GB to improve. Jamie McDonald / Getty Images
Ryan Giggs, centre, in a training session last week, will need to inspire his Team GB to improve. Jamie McDonald / Getty Images

Friendlies are not particularly reliable predictors of form ahead of a big tournament but if the results on Sunday are any indication, Team Great Britain have yet to find their Olympic form and Senegal, another member of Group A with the UAE, may be stronger than anticipated.

Team GB lost 1-0 to Mexico in a friendly played behind closed doors in Marbella, Spain. Marco Fabian, a forward for Chivas Guadalajara, scored in the 28th minute of a match divided into three 30-minute segments.

The London 2012 host team, who were playing their first friendly, apparently started the exhibition with 11 players who may make up the bulk of their preferred Olympic line-up, including the Manchester United midfielders Ryan Giggs and Tom Cleverley.

Liverpool's Craig Bellamy and Marvin Sordell of Bolton Wanderers started up front, With Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey, Tottenham Hotspur's Danny Rose and Jack Cork of Southampton were in midfield.

The back line included Micah Richards of Manchester City, Chelsea's Ryan Bertrand and Craig Dawson of West Bromwich Albion. Jack Butland of Birmingham City started in goal. Team GB have a final friendly with Brazil on Friday in Middlesbrough.

Meanwhile, Senegal impressed with a 2-0 victory over Spain's Olympic team, with Ibrahima Seck, a standby player, scoring in the 14th minute past David de Gea, the Manchester United goalkeeper, and Sadio Mane of Metz adding a second in the 47th minute, in Las Palmas, Spain.

Spain are considered a medal favourite at London 2012, and their side includes Jordi Alba of Barcelona and Juan Mata of Chelsea.

poberjuerge@thenational.ae

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