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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Argentina Beat Brazil in Olympics Semi-Final, Nigeria Thrash Belgium

Argentina - 3, Brazil - 0 : Men’s Soccer Semifinal

Argentina avenged the 3-0 Copa America 2007 and Confederations Cup 2005 defeats in the Men’s Olympic Football semi-final today, beating Brazil 3-0.

Bit of controversy around the goals. You can see in the above video that Sergio Aguero’s first goal may or may not have been handball. A touch of the old Hand of God? Can we call it the Arm of Kun? Maybe, but if it was handball it was nowhere near as blatant as Diego Maradona’s 1986 effort that still gives Peter Shilton bad dreams. Ater watching the slo-mo I’m thinking it was all chest.

Aguero’s second goal looks way offside on first viewing, but you can see on the replay that Brazilian no. 3 Alex Silva was playing everyone onside.

Maradona watching from Gallery

Juan Roman Riquelme made it 3-0 with a penalty after Aguero was brought down in the box and that was that. Not shown in the above video, Javier Mascherano turned into a red-card magnet in the last ten minutes, getting fouled once by Liverpool team-mate Lucas and once by Thiago Neves. Both were in the showers early. The cards were a little harsh (each could have been just plain old yellow) but the fouls were stupid and cynical. Both men will miss the bronze medal game now.

The result not only puts Argentina into the Olympic gold medal game (against Nigeria, see below) it also brings things level in Argentina and Brazil’s historic rivalry. It’s now 35 wins each and 24 draws.

Nigeria looked the business in the earlier semi-final. Goals from Olubayo Adefemi, Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi (x2) amd Chibuzor Okonkwo but the Super Eagles into a 4-0 lead, before Belgium got a too little toon late consoloation through Laurent Ciman in the 88th minute.

The bronze medal game will be Belgium vs Brazil, August 22nd in Shanghai, 7pm kick off local time.

The gold medal game will be Argentina vs Nigeria, August 23rd in Beijing, 12 noon kick off local time.

Courtesy :

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