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Roundup: African powers reach quarterfinals in Olympic men's soccer, hosts out
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08:55, August 14, 2008

The African powerhouses Nigeria, Cameroon and Cote d'Ivoire cruised to the quarterfinals of the Olympic men's soccer tournament on Wednesday while hosts China went out.

The Netherlands and Belgium also reached last eight after Wednesday's final round of the group stage, and Argentina, Brazil and Italy had booked their quarterfinal berths before Wednesday's matches,

In Group A, forward Saloman Kalou's late goal gave Cote d'Ivoire a 1-0 win over Australia and a quarterfinal place.

Argentina topped the group with three wins after beating Serbia 2-0 on Wednesday. Ezequiel Lavezzi scored a penalty in the first half, and Diego Buonanotte added the second in the 84th minute with a free-kick.

Serbia goalkeeper Stojkovic was also a winner of the game. He stopped Di Maria's penalty shot in the 79th minute. But due to the foul of Serbia defender Nenad Tomovic when Di Maria took the kick, the Argentina player re-took it, and the result was the same -- stopped by Stojkovic again.

In Group B, Nigeria finished top with seven points after beating ten-man United States 2-1.

Nigeria captain Promise Isaac scored the first goal in the 39th minute, and striker Victor Obinna made it 2-0 in the 79th minute. The U.S. pulled one back in the 87th minute with Sacha Kljestan's penalty goal.

The Netherlands finished second in the group with five points after edging Japan 1-0 with the overage player Gerald Sibon's penalty goal in the 73rd minute.

The Netherlands will clash with Argentina in the quarterfinals while Nigeria will face Cote d'Ivoire

Brazil topped Group C with three wins after easing past hosts China 3-0 while China went out with one draw and two losses.

Diego opened the scoring in the 18th minute, and Neves Thiago scored twice in the second half.

Belgium also reached the quarterfinals after beating New Zealand 1-0 with Faris Haroun's first-half goal.

Cameroon advanced from Group D with five points after a 0-0 draw with Italy, which led the group with seven points. South Korea beat Honduras 1-0, but was still knocked out with four points.

Brazil will play against Cameroon in the quarterfinals, and Italy will face Belgium.

Source:Xinhua

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1 China 17 5 5 27
2 USA 10 8 11 29
3 South Korea 6 6 1 13
5 Germany 6 1 2 9
4 Italy 4 4 3 11
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