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Belgium eases past New Zealand to meet Italy in quarterfinal Soccer Group A Roundup: Argentina storm in Elephants' wild waltzResults/standings of Group C at Olympic men's football tournamentSoccer review: Brazil, Belgium book clashes against Cameroon, ItalyLeading scorers of Olympic men's soccer Beijing: Light rain/Cloudy 29-22°C
 
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Belgium eases past New Zealand to meet Italy in quarterfinal
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09:05, August 14, 2008

Belgium made a comfortable 1-0 win over debutants New Zealand and will meet Italy in the quarterfinals of the Beijing Olympic men's soccer tournament here on Wednesday.

It's big surprise that the Belgians only scored one goal in a lop-sided game. Midfielder Faris Haroun jumped high inside the box to hammer in a 35-minute corner to seal the victroy.

"We're so happy that we can go to Beijing to play against Italy in the next round. Last year we qualified from Europe, and this time we are among the best eight in the world. It's a fantastic result for Belgium," said Belgium coach Jean Francois De Sart.

Belgium has got six points after two straight wins and qualified as second-placed team of Group C, bowing to favourites Brazil, who picked up three wins to play Cameroon in the next round. New Zealand is out after the loss. With only a 1-1 draw from hosts China in the opening game, the Kiwis finally sit at the bottom of Group C with one point.

"Unfortunately, we have to go home now. We're not lucky today, but we played well. We can go home with dignity," said New Zealand Coach Stu Jacobs, adding that the absence of Nelsen was surely a loss for the team, but they still had other good players like Moussa Dembele.

Belgium dominated the whole match with advantage in almost every aspect. And the passive Kiwis should thank their keeper Jacob Spoonley, as well as the Belgian attackers to avoid a rout.

Spoonley might hardly remember how many saves he made during the tough 90 minutes, and he concentrated well to defend their dignity.

Belgium's Sevilla winger Tom De Mul had some tricky performance in the second half, and had a thunderbolt against the crossbar from 30 meters in the 81st minute.

New Zealand had a golden chance on 74 minutes, when striker Chris Killen collected a square pass from the left and rounded a defender. But his sharp shot was blocked by a diving Logan Bailly.

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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