Messi inspires Argentina; Brazil begin their Olympics campaign with a win

Ivory Coast 1 – Argentina 2 (Olympics, August 7, 2008) After all the debate in recent days, Lionel Messi let his feet do the talking by scoring the opener against the Ivory Coast with a clinical finish. But the Ivorians hit back after the break, Sekou Cisse’s towering back post header bringing the sides level. The South Americans stole the victory in the 86th minute, a quick free-kick released Messi down the left, and his fizzed cross was turned home by Lautaro Acosta.

Brazil 1- Belgium 0 (Olympics, August 7, 2008) Early in the second-half Alexandre Pato missed a great chance after good work by Ronaldinho. Hernanes got the only goal with ten minutes to go. Belgium had Kompany and Fellaini sent-off late on.

China 1 – New Zealand 1 (Olympics, August 7, 2008) New Zealand lost Steven Old in the first-half for two bookable offenses, but it didn’t stop the Kiwi’s halting China’s party as Jeremy Brockie scored a fine goal after breaking the offside trap. But the host nation salvaged a late draw thanks to Dong’s brilliant header in 88th minute.

Honduras 0 – Italy 3 (Olympics, August 7, 2008) Giovinco got the first with a great strike from distance. Penalties from Rossi and Aquafresca confirmed the win. Pavon missed a pen for Honduras with eight minutes to go.

Australia 1 – Serbia 1 (Olympics, August 7, 2008) Ruben Zadkovich gave Australia the lead in the 69th minute, squeezing the ball in from a tight angle at the far post. Serbia’s goal came after Aleksandar Zivkovic floated a corner to the near post and Slobodan Rajkovic met it with a firm header that flew past goalkeeper Federici.

South Korea 1 – Cameroon 1 (Olympics, August 7, 2008) Park’s free-kick evaded both the South Korean forwards and the Cameroon defenders for the opening goal. But the Cameroonians equalised when Mandjeck converted a right wing cross. The Africans had Baning sent off in the final minute.

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Japan 0 – USA 1 (Olympics, August 7, 2008) Stuart Holden struck a loose ball from the top of the penalty area that Japanese goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa was unable to stop, with the ball trickling over the line in the 47th minute.

Holland 0 – Nigeria 0 (Olympics, August 7, 2008)

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