Golden boy keeps Brazil’s gold quest alive

The victory gives Brazil six points in Group C,three more than Belarus.

Written by Associated Press | Manchester | Published: July 30, 2012 1:42:51 am

Neymar set up two goals and scored from a free kick to help Brazil beat Belarus 3-1 on Sunday,securing the gold-medal favorite a spot in the quarterfinals of the men’s Olympic football 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 equalized 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.

“I’m glad that I was able to play well again and that I got the goal and the assists,” Neymar said. “The victory was important to make sure we make it to the next round no matter what happens in the final match.”

Neymar’s goal was the 100th all-time for Brazil in the Olympics.

Brazil is trying to win its first gold medal in football. 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.

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