Argentina, Brazil, Italy in quarter finals

August 11th, 2008 - 12:07 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of AC Milan

Beijing, Aug 10(IANS)Zequiel Lavezzi scored in the 78th minute to guide defending champions Argentina to a 1-0 win over Australia, while Italy blanked South Korea 3-0 in the 29th Olympic Games men’s football competition here Sunday. Netherlands saved the blushes to finish with a 2-2 draw against US and Brazil thrashed New Zealand 5-0 in other group league matches.

With the win over Australia in Shanghai, Argentina booked its spot in the quarter finals from group A.

At Quinhuangdao, Italy secured a spot in the quarterfinals with goals from Giuseppe Rossi, Tommaso Rocchi and Riccardo Montolivo.

The Italians dominated a tough South Korea side that was undefeated in Olympic qualifying.

Rossi scored in the 15th, pouncing on the deflection of a shot from Rocchi and slotting a left-footed strike past South Korea goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong from 10 yards.

Rocchi doubled the lead in the 32nd when he knocked in a cross from defender Marco Motta, while Montolivo finished off the scoring with an injury-time goal.

The win gives Italy six points and assures it one of the top two spots in Group D.

In A Group B fixture at Tianjin, striker Gerald Sibon scored an injury-time goal to help the Netherlands draw 2-2 with the United States.

The last-minute goal also helped the Dutch stay in the tournament with two points.

The U.S. and Nigeria, with four points each, currently top the group while Japan was eliminated with no points.

Liverpool winger Ryan Babel put the Netherlands ahead in the 16th minute before the U.S. side equalized in the 64th minute through midfielder Sacha Kljestan.

Only eight minutes later, the North Americans added the second goal when substitute forward Jozy Altidore poked home a cross from defender Michael Orozco.

The Dutch refused to give up and substitute forward Gerald Sibon scored a free-kick in injury-time after he was tackled down at the edge of the box.

AC Milan star Ronaldinho scored two second-half goals to enable Brazil rout New Zealand in Shenyang.

By virtue of their win, the Brazilians, who sit in first place in Group C, earned a spot in the quarter finals.

Ronaldinho scored his first goal of the competition with a free kick in the 54th minute, and added another from the penalty spot seven minutes later. Anderson opened the scoring less than three minutes into the match.

Alexandre Pato scored in the 34th minute and Rafael Sobis added another goal in second-half injury time to keep Brazil on track for its first gold medal in Olympic soccer.

In Tianjin, Victor Obinna scored one goal and set up another to lead Nigeria to a 2-1 victory over Japan.

Victor Anichebe also scored for the Africans. Second-half substitute Yohei Toyoda scored for Japan in the 79th minute of the Group B tie.

In Qinhuangdao, midfielder Stephane Mbia scored in the second half Sunday to lift Cameroon to a 1-0 victory over Honduras.

In another group A exchange, Ivory Coast beat Serbia 4-2.

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