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Soccer Preview: Belgium has bigger chance to qualify for quarterfinals
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14:17, August 12, 2008

Belgium has got a very good situation to qualify for the quarter-finals before their last Group C game against New Zealand at Beijing Olympics men's soccer tournament here on Tuesday.

With a comfortable 2-0 win over host China, Belgium now ranks second in Group C with three points. While the Kiwis (with one point) have to beat Belgium to advance to the last eight, the European Youth Championship semi-finalists only need a draw to qualify as long as the Brazilians do not lose to China with big score.

The Belgians showed their strength in the opening 0-1 defeat by Brazil, in which their disciplined defence contained stars like Ronaldinho, Alexandre Pato and Diego to the utmost extent. And the easy victory over China without suspended major defenders Vincent Kompany and Marouane Fellaini boosted their confidence greatly.

Belgium coach Jean Francois De Sart said his side will not use defensive tactics against New Zealand, "We have to get one point to go to the next round, but we will play to win."

There's also good news coming from the Kiwi for the Belgians. New Zealand's ace defender, captain Ryan Nelsen, is likely to go back to his English club Blackburn Rovers.

Nelson was allowed to play the first two matches in the Olympic tournament, but has to abide by his commitment with Blackburn and go back to attend the first Premier League match against Everton on Saturday.

Another blow for the Kiwi is that their major striker Jeremy Brockie, who scored their solo goal in the past two games, will be suspended after picking two yellow cards.

But the Olympic debutant is confident before the do-or-die game. Coach Stu Jacobs said: "We are confident (to win the match). I think they(Belgium) have similar style like us. Both are physical, high and strong. They did particularly well against China, they are well- organized, quick on the counter-attack."

"But we have got a lot of confidence from the game against China. We'll try to get better control of the ball and do our best to win."


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