MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Moussa Konate scored late in the second half to lift Senegal to a 1-1 tie against host Britain in an Olympic soccer match Thursday.
Playing in its first Olympic competition since 1960, Britain faded after Craig Bellamy scored in the first half. The Welshman pounced on Ryan Giggs' free kick into the box, driving a shot into the ground that bounced to the left of keeper Ousmane Mane.
Senegal's best chance in the first half came six minutes later, when British keeper Jack Butland sent a clearing attempt into the path of Sadio Mane. But the striker chipped high and wide.
Senegal's players, most of whom play in European leagues, fared better after the break.
Ibrahima Balde tried to tie it two minutes into the half with a low shot, but Butland got a hand to it and turned the ball past the post. Butland responded again in the 55th minute, tipping Saliou Ciss' attempt over the goal, and Britain defender Danny Rose was there to head away Papa Gueye's header on the resulting corner.
Senegal finally scored in the 81st minute when Konate ran to a through ball and chipped it past Butland.
A frantic final few minutes included British substitute Marvin Sordell hitting the bar. Konate's attempt for a second goal went wide.
The match was played in front of a near capacity crowd at Old Trafford, most of whom had never seen a British soccer team take the field in a major competition.
The country's English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish soccer associations had resisted the idea of a Britain team, fearing it could jeopardize their independence within global soccer. Given Britain is hosting the games, they agreed to field a team this time around, though only Welsh and English players are represented.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
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