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Brazil, Japan, Mexico among football winners

Monday, July 30, 2012

CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Neymar inspired Brazil to a 3-1 victory over Belarus yesterday to reach the quarter-finals of the Olympic men's football competition, and Japan also booked their berth by beating Morocco 1-0 after a late goal.

In other results, two-time Olympic champion Uruguay lost 0-2 to Senegal, while Mexico got their campaign back on track with a 2-0 win over Gabon. Egypt played a to 1-1 draw against New Zealand in Group C, while South Korea beat Switzerland 2-1.

Brazil, seeking their first Olympic gold, went behind on eight minutes, but Alexandre Pato equalised with a header in the 15th minute after a cross by Neymar. The Brazilian star then scored with a right-foot shot in the 65th minute and set up the final goal for recently signed Chelsea playmaker Oscar in injury time.

"I'm so glad that we won the game," said Neymar. "We played very well in the second half and now we are another step closer. It was very hard for us against a good Belarus team."

The victory in front of 66,000 people at Manchester's Old Trafford Stadium gave Brazil six points in Group C, three more than Belarus.

Japan forward Kensuke Nagai scored an 84th-minute goal to secure the win over Morocco.

Morocco had a late chance to equalise, but forward Zakaria Labyad's shot from close range was blocked by Japan goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda in stoppage time.

Japan top Group D with six points, while Morocco have one point in third place.

Uruguay's loss was their first in Olympic competition and leave them on three points with one game to go.

Senegal's Moussa Konate scored two first-half goals in the victory that left the team top of Group A with four points. Konate has scored three goals in the tournament so far for Olympic debutante Senegal.

Mexican substitute Giovani Dos Santos scored twice in the second half to give the Central Americans their victory in Coventry. The win puts Mexico top of Group B with four points, while Gabon have one. The top two teams in each of the four groups advance.

New Zealand forward Chris Wood opened the scoring from just in front of the goal on the 17th minute, and Egypt forward Mohamed Salah equalised following a counter-attack in the 40th minute. Both teams had great chances at the end but couldn't capitalise on them.

The teams now have one point each after two rounds. New Zealand will next face Brazil and Egypt will play Belarus.

Arsenal striker Park Chu-young scored the opener with a diving header as South Korea defeated Switzerland.

Innocent Emeghara pulled one back for the Swiss in the 60th, but Kim Bok-yung got the decisive goal for South Korea three minutes later.

The South Koreans are now second in Group B, behind Mexico on goal difference.

Switzerland are in third position with one point, ahead of Gabon on goal difference.

In yesterday's evening matches, host Britain, who drew their opening game against Senegal, play the United Arab Emirates at Wembley. Honduras face Spain, who must win to stay in contention.

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