Olympics football round up: Surprise package Egypt join Brazil in quarter-finals
Egypt cruised to a 3-1 win against Belarus to join Group C rivals Brazil in the quarter-finals of the Olympic football competition.
Mohamed Salah, Marwan Mohsen and Mohamed Aboutrika all netted in the space of 15 second-half minutes to hand the Pharaohs a comfortable win.
Going into the game, Belarus needed a draw to go through to the knockout stages and it appeared that head coach Georgi Kondratyev sent his side out to gain the point they needed as they showed little adventure throughout.
The Eastern European side’s defence proved tough to break down for much of the match, but Egypt finally broke through 11 minutes into the second half as FC Basel winger Salah broke free and slotted home.
Egypt soon doubled their lead thanks to Mohsen’s first-time finish from Eslam Ramadan’s left-footed cross before Aboutrika tapped home from close-range, following Omar Gaber’s unselfish cut-back.
Substitute Andrei Voronkov soon pulled a goal back, but it only proved to be a consolation as Egypt held out for the win and set up a last-eight clash with Japan.
Earlier in the day,Brazil crushed New Zealand 3-0 at St James’ Park to maintain their 100 per cent record in the tournament.
Danilo and Leandro Damiao both scored in the first half before Tottenham midfielder Sandro extended the South American giant’s lead shortly after half-time.
Brazil will play against Honduras in their quarter-final clash after the Hondurans progressed from Group D following their 0-0 draw with Japan.
Meanwhile, Spain continued their poor form in the competition as they were held to a 0-0 draw with Morocco at Old Trafford.
It means the reigning world and European champions exit the tournament without scoring a goal.
In Group B, South Korea set up a quarter-final match with Team GB after their 0-0 draw with Gabon at Wembley.
They will be joined by Mexico, who defeated Switzerland 1-0 at the Millennium Stadium thanks to an Oribe Peralta strike.
Team GB’s group opponents, Senegal, finished behind Stuart Pearce’s side in Group D after they could only draw 1-1 with the United Arab Emirates.
Moussa Konate bagged his fourth goal of the Olympic Games to cancel out a wonderful chipped effort from UAE talisman Ismaeil Matar.
Laurence Taylor,football correspondent