UAE 1 Uruguay 2; Great Britain 1 Senegal 1

Thursday 26th July 2012
United Arab Emirates 1 Uruguay 2; Great Britain 1 Senegal 1
Preliminary Round Group A
At: Old Trafford
Admission: £40; Programme: £5 (68 pages)
Weather: warm, sunshine and showers

A late decision to head to Old Trafford meant a hefty £80 price for two tickets in what turned out to be a sell-out crowd of 72176 at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’. We saw a double header with the UAE almost upsetting fancied Uruguay followed by Great Britain being held 1-1 by a very physical Senegal side. Even though it took three hours to get home after full-time, the enjoyment of visiting Old Trafford for the first time in November 1984 was well worth the effort and aggravation.

Getting to the stadium couldn’t have been easier – parked-up near Timperley Metrolink station, took the tram to Old Trafford and walked past the cricket ground. Then the fun started! A long queue to collect our pre-booked tickets and problems at the turnstiles meant we didn’t sit down in our North Stand seats until 10 minutes before the first game kicked-off.

The programme, a specific one for ‘Team GB’, was different to yesterday in that it covered yesterday’s two ladies fixtures at Cardiff and today’s two Old Trafford games.

Coming home was a nightmare – thousands of people queuing for trams at Old Trafford station. I wonder if we should have walked a bit further to Trafford Bar Metrolink instead?

United Arab Emirates 1 Uruguay 2
Kick-off: 5-00 pm
Attendance: 51745
Duration: first-half: 46:07; second-half: 49:17

UAE (in all red) got the game underway defending the West Stand (aka Stretford End) and took a deserved lead in the 23rd minute though Ismail Matar amid huge cheers from the neutrals in the crowd. Uruguay (wearing familiar sky blue shirts, black shorts and socks) levelled things up just before the break when Gastón Ramírez fired home direct from a 28-yard free-kick. Uruguay’s winner came in the 56th minute from Nicolás Lodeiro.

1-0 Ismail Matar (23)
1-1 Gastón Ezequiel Ramírez (42)
1-2 Nicolás Lodeiro (56)

Great Britain 1 Senegal 1
Kick-off: 8-00 pm
Attendance: 72176
Duration: first-half: 45:43; second-half: 49:15

Great Britain (in all navy blue) got the game underway defending the West Stand (aka Stretford End). They look the lead in 19th minute through Craig Bellamy. Senegal (in all white) employed some very physical tactics and Great Britain should have been awarded penalty for an awful late tackle on Bellamy during the second half which the referee didn’t even penalise. The lack of a second goal hit GB hard as Moussa Konaté finished off a nice move in the 82nd minute to net Senegal’s equaliser.

1-0 Craig Bellamy (19)
1-1 Moussa Konaté (82)