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OLYMPIC FOOTBALL Group C: Brazil come from behind to defeat Belarus

Belarus took a shock lead against Brazil, but the Samba Boys quickly levelled and scored the winning goals in the second half to run-out 3-1 winners. After an exciting opening 15 minutes two headers ensured the joint leaders of Group C went in at the break all square.

Brazil began knocking the ball about with confidence as Belarus sat back and restricted space once the Samba Boys came within shooting distance.

Just as this seemed to be how the game would continue Belarus broke quickly on 7 minutes and from Aleksei Kozlov`s cross Renan Bressan was totally unmarked to place his header past keeper Neto.

Brazil responded almost immediately with Hulk going close but the South American`s did equalise after 14 minutes. Neymar fired in a cross from the left and Alexandre Pato rose highest to glance a header into goal.

Brazil enjoyed the majority of possession with Neymar and Hulk lively, but Belarus defended intelligently and looked dangerous on the break with their neat football.

After the break Brazil turned on the pressure and and after Marcelo and Oscar had both brought smart saves from Aleksandr Gutor the South American`s took the lead.

Neymar was fouled and the Santos player curled a delightful free kick into the top left hand corner.

Yet it could have been all so different had Bressan`s overhit cross not been clawed out from under the crossbar by Neto moments earlier.

As it was Brazil kept possession as Belarus looked resigned to defeat and the game meandered to its conclusion although Neymar almost scored a brilliant sole effort and Oscar went close with a free kick.

In injury time Neymar and Oscar combined for the latter to blast home number three. Referee: Yuichi Nishimura

Venue: Old Trafford

Attendance: 66,000

Brazil scorers: Pato 14, Neymar 65 Belarus scorers: Bressan 7

Yellow cards: Kozlov (BEL), Stanislav Dragun (BEL)

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Dave Williams

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