AGAINST the fall out from the controversial ‘Zylberberg video’ Great Britain and Argentina played out a tense match under the floodlights at the Riverbank Arena last night.
Doncaster’s Barry Middleton was the hero for the home team with two first half goals that settled British nerves and ensured that the majority of the questions would be about his side’s good form rather the Anglo-Argentinian relations.
The video saw former Argentina captain Fernando Zylberberg exercising in Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands. It included him clambering over a war memorial for British soldiers.
It was inevitable that tensions would run high but Middleton’s strikes coupled with Dan Fox and Richard Smith netting after the break made Pedro Ibarra’s goal a mere consolation and gave Britain, including Sheffield’s Alastair Wilson, a comfortable 4-1 victory to start their Olympic campaign. Middleton, who was born in Skellow and lived at Bessacarr, is a captain in the very finest traditions of British sport.
He said the only motivation his team needed was to win the match: “There was some needle in the game but that’s because it was the Olympic Games. If you didn’t see that then I don’t think we’d be putting our all out there. It was two teams battling hard for a win. We’ve put two years of our life on hold to do this and I think that showed out there.
“We’re performing for our countries. You could see me and Matia (Vila the Argentina captain) get into it, but now we’re fine sat here.
“It’s always a battle and it’s hard. No one stepped over the line. We kept it sporting and kept in the laws of the game.”
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