GREAT BRITAIN'S Olympic dreams suffered an unexpected setback at Old Trafford last night as Moussa Konate's late equaliser for Senegal denied them victory.
Craig Bellamy put the hosts in front with a clinical volley early in the contest.
But Stuart Pearce's men were then pushed onto the back foot by the Africans' ultra-physical approach, which largely went unpunished by Uzbek referee Ravshan Irmatov.
Still, it did seem GB had weathered the worst until Konate struck eight minutes from time.
The hosts pushed forward frantically in search of a winner, but they came no nearer than a Marvin Sordell effort that crashed against the bar.
And the greatest damage could yet be felt in the dressing room, with both Bellamy and Joe Allen needing to be checked after sustaining worrying knocks.
Earlier, a 38,000 crowd at Hampden saw 10-man Spain crash to a 1-0 defeat against shock troops Japan.
The World and European champions were already trailing to Yuki Otsu's goal when Inigo Martinez was sent off five minutes before half-time.
And Spanish boss Luis Milla said having to chase the game with 10 men was the main reason for his side's opening-match defeat in Group D.
He said: "Congratulations to Japan, they played a very good match but it was hard for us with a man less. We then had to push forward and take risks.It is true they created many chances, but they had quick forwards who could exploit the space we left."
Japan boss Takashi Sekizuka was delighted with his side's performance, but tried to play down claims they are now serious contenders for the gold medal.
He said: "This is still the first match. We still have far to go to even make the next round."
New Chelsea signing Oscar played a starring role as Brazil were forced to fend off a brave fightback from Egypt at the Millennium Stadium before running out 3-2 winners.
In other ties, UAE and Uruguay fought out a 1-1 stalemate while Group B rivals Mexico and South Korea also finished level at 0-0.
In Group C, the points were shared in a 1-1 draw between Belarus and New Zealand.