Olympics 2012

Neymar sets up Brazil victory

2012-07-29 18:38
Neymar (AP)

Manchester - Neymar set up two goals and scored from a free kick to help Brazil beat Belarus 3-1 on Sunday, securing the gold-medal favourites a spot in the quarter-finals of the men's Olympic soccer tournament.

Neymar struck a well-placed right-foot shot into the left upper corner of the net in the 65th minute to break a deadlock as Brazil struggled to get near the Belarus goal despite controlling possession at Old Trafford.

Belarus opened the scoring through Brazilian-born playmaker Renan Bressan in the eighth, but Alexandre Pato equalised with a header in the 15th after a cross by Neymar, who also set up Oscar's final goal in injury time.

The victory gives Brazil six points in Group C, three more than Belarus. New Zealand and Egypt, which drew 1-1 earlier in Manchester, have one point each.

Brazil will play its last group match against New Zealand while Belarus will face Egypt.

Brazil are trying to win their first gold medal in soccer. The Olympic tournament is the only significant football competition the five-time world champions haven't won. The Brazilians earned silver in 1984 and 1988, and bronze in 1996 and 2008.

Neymar's goal came after he was fouled while trying to get past a defender in the top of the area. His curling shot went in high and hit the side of the net as Belarus goalkeeper Aleksandr Gutor tried to reach for the ball with his outstretched arms.

Belarus took the early lead after a cross into the area by Aleksei Kozlov, as Bressan was open to head the ball into the far corner. Bressan was born in Brazil but moved to Belarus several years ago to play football.

Brazil equalised through AC Milan's Pato, who got in front of the Belarus defence to head in a left-side cross by Neymar, who then made a great run three minutes into second-half injury time to set up Oscar's easy goal from in front of the goal.

Brazil dominated most of the match in front of more than 66 000 people at Old Trafford, but struggled to get close to the Belarus area, relying mostly on balls crossed into the box. Belarus had its opportunities in a few counterattacks.

Neymar was heavily challenged and failed to pose much of a threat until coming alive in the second half. Recently signed Chelsea playmaker Oscar wasn't able to create much although he had a few good chances to score from outside the area and showed some of his outstanding skills before finally getting his goal.

Pato was the only change to Brazil's starting line-up from the 3-2 win over Egypt, when the Brazilians got three goals in the first 30 minutes but allowed Egypt to pull closer in the second half and nearly gave the victory away. He replaced Leandro Damiao.
Belarus was coming off a 1-0 win over New Zealand in its opener.

The 23-year-old Bressan was the biggest threat for Belarus. His long-range shot just missed wide in the 17th and he almost found the right upper corner with a curling shot in the 60th.

Read more on:    olympics 2012  |  neymar  |  soccer


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Breaking News

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.