MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 26: Craig Bellamy and Joe Allen of Great Britain look on during the Men's Football first round Group A Match of the London 2012 Olympic Games between Great Britain and Senegal, at Old Trafford on July 26, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
In spectactularly unsurprising fashion, Team Great Britain crashed out of the Olympics tonight on penalties, losing 1-1 (5-4) to the Korean Republic on a day that saw resounding success for the host nation across a number of other competitions. The four penalty takers on each side netted successfully to start, leaving it down to Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge for Great Britain in a storyline he couldn't have better drafted for himself if he tried. His stuttering run-up failed to deceive substitute goalkeeper Lee Bumyoung, however, and Ki Sungyeung blasted past Jack Butland to send Korea Republic into the semifinals against Brazil.
Craig Bellamy played most of regulation and was again at the heart of a number of threatening attacks for Great Britain, including the delivery of the ball that set up the first of two dubiously-awarded penalties in quick succession. South Korea's early dominance often left him isolated on the right flank, but as Great Britain worked their way back into the match he found himself more involved and influential.
Of other Liverpool interest was the play of midfielder Joe Allen--from what I saw he performed about how we'd expect, with smart possession and good positional play if a little late-arriving and clumsy in the challenge. With Liverpool's midfield prior to Lucas' involvement on Thursday in mind, the play of Allen is both refreshing and encouraging, as he seems far more attentive, active, and independently assured while covering plenty of ground in support of both defense and attack.
It's unfortunate that we have to talk about both having uncertain Liverpool futures, with talk of Bellamy's return to Cardiff to wrap up his career still around, and no updates about Allen's arrival since Swansea confirmed that they wouldn't discuss the player until his participation in the Olympics was over. Now that it's happened most are hopeful a deal can be finalized, though, and that Brendan Rodgers can somehow wrangle Bellamy into sticking around for at least another season before riding off into the Welsh sunset.