OLYMPICS: Oly Whites Tracker Men's Soccer Group C Roundup - Game 3

Brazil ousts New Zealeand and Egypt take second over Belarus

Group play in the men’s football tournament at London 2012 wrapped up on Wednesday with eight countries claiming quarterfinal berths. Sadly for Timbers fans, Jake Gleeson and New Zealand will not be among the teams moving on in the tournament as the Oly Whites were ousted on the final day of action in Group C by gold medal favorites Brazil.

Gleeson began New Zealand’s Olympic Qualifying campaign as the Oly Whites’ starting keeper in three of the team’s four matches, pitching shutouts against Papua New Guinea on March 16 and Fiji in the OFC’s Olympic Qualifying final on March 25. The Portland netminder also grabbed hold of the starting job for New Zealand’s first two Olympic warm-up matches, helping the Oly Whites tie Japan 1-1 on July 11 before injuring his groin in the second half of a 2-1 defeat to Korea three days later. Unfortunately for Gleeson, he could not shake the injury and did not feature for New Zealand in any of the team’s three Group C games at London 2012.

New Zealand 0 vs. Brazil 3
Although Brazil rested a number of its highest-profile players, and had Alex Sandro sent off in the 76th minute for a second bookable offense, the Seleção still ran out 3-0 winners over New Zealand. Leandro Damiao took the plaudits as he pulled the strings for Brazil, setting up the opener for Danilo before netting himself to give the Brazilians a 2-0 at the break. Tottenham’s Sandro (unrelated to Alex Sandro) frosted the cake in the second stanza and helped send Brazil to the knockout stages as the only team in the Olympic men’s football tournament with a 100-percent record through group play.

Egypt 3 vs. Belarus 1
In Group C’s other match, Egypt went through at the expense of Belarus. It took the Pharaohs until after the break to puncture a stiff Belarussian defense, but with his third goal of the tournament, Mohamed Salah got Egypt off and running against the Europeans. First, Marwan Mohsen and then Egyptian hero Mohamed Aboutrika, whose latest career exploits are well worth a read, put the match beyond doubt before Andrei Voronkov pulled one back for Belarus, which showed well at its first ever Olympic men’s football tournament. 

London 2012 Olympics Men’s Football Quarterfinals
When the Olympic men’s tournament resumes on Saturday, Olympic hosts Great Britain will meet South Korea, high-flying Brazil takes on Honduras (which features DCU's Andy Najar, New England Revolution, Jerry Bengtson and Sporting Kansas City’s Roger Espinoza), Mexico tangles with Senegal and Egypt faces Japan in what may be the most intriguing match of the day.

Saturday, Aug. 4
Egypt vs. Japan  12:00 p.m. (PT) – Old Trafford, Manchester, England
Mexico vs. Senegal  2:30 p.m. (PT) – Wembley Stadium, London, England
Brazil vs. Honduras  5:00 p.m. (PT) – St James Park, Newcastle, England
Great Britain vs. S. Korea  7:30 p.m. (PT) – Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales