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Brazil beats Belgium to claim Olympic bronze

Brazil beats Belgium to claim Olympic bronze

Jo scored two goals and Diego added a third Friday to give Brazil a 3-0 win over Belgium and the Olympic bronze medal in men's football.
Diego scored in the 27th minute when he darted in front of defender Tom de Mul and knocked a cross from Rafinha past Belgium goalkeeper Logan Bailly.
Jo, who was filling in for the red-carded Thiago Neves, scored the second just before halftime, then slotted between Bailly's legs to add the third in injury-time.
Led by two-time FIFA player of the year Ronaldinho, Brazil arrived in China on a quest to win its first Olympic gold medal in football.
Instead, the South Americans picked up their second bronze medal, 12 years after their third-place finish at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
"For the fourth time we got a medal for Brazil in the Olympics, and we are very happy about it," Brazil coach Dunga said.
But it is not the medal a talented team came to China to win. The Brazilians had their hearts set on gold, only to be denied in the semifinals by rival Argentina.
Belgium, which was looking for its first football medal since winning gold at the 1920 Antwerp Games, pushed forward in search of an equalizer in the closing minutes of the first half.
Collecting a long ball on the counter in the 40th, De Mul waited as his teammates raced upfield to join him, then fed an unmarked Maarten Martens with a perfect cross just inside the box.
Martens controlled the ball and hit a low, left-footed blast that had goalkeeper Renan beat, but Breno slid in a blocked the shot with his right leg.
Instead, it was Brazil that found the back of the net before the break.
Ronaldinho fed Ramires with the ball as he raced into the box on the right. Bailly blocked Ramires' blast from 10 meters (yards), but the ball popped up behind him and Jo headed the deflection into the open net.
Neither Jo nor Ramires are regular starters. The two were filling in for Thiago Neves and Lucas, both of whom were forced to sit out the bronze-medal match after picking up red cards against Argentina in the semifinals.
Trailing 2-0, Belgium had little choice but to attack in the second half, creating a handful of chances but never really looking capable of pulling one back. Belgium's best opportunity came in the 82nd when Sepp de Roover found space in the box, but Renan blocked the defender's shot from 8 meters (yards).
"I think we justified our position in the last four," Belgium coach Jean Francois De Sart said. "Today we played a good match. We had a lot of chances against Brazil, which is a big team with a lot of players.
"If you were to compare the value of the players of Brazil and Belgium, you have a big difference, but on the field today you didn't see this big difference."


Updated : 2021-04-12 11:34 GMT+08:00