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Play comes naturally to Brazil while luck deserts Spain
by Paul Kennedy, August 2nd, 2012 1:16AM

TAGS:  brazil, olympics, spain


[OLYMPIC SPOTLIGHT] Even playing without several starters and finishing with 10 men following the dismissal of Porto's Alex Sandro, Brazil easily defeated New Zealand 3-0 on Wednesday to move into the quarterfinals of the Olympic men's soccer tournament. While Brazil has scored three goals in each game, Spain, the other pre-tournament favorite, exited after being shut out for the third straight game.

Brazil, which got goals from FC Porto's Danilo and Sandro and Internacional's Leandro Damiao, has looked unstoppable.

Even without regulars Hulk, Alexandre Pato, Oscar, Romulo and goalkeeper Neto, Brazil toyed with New Zealand, which was eliminated.

"I really liked the way the team played," Brazil coach Mano Menezes said. "We did a good job keeping the ball, we didn't rush the plays and that was important, the plays came naturally."

By contrast, Spain was already eliminated from the tournament when it played to a 0-0 tie with Morocco. All the result did was ensure it finished last in Group D behind Japan, Honduras and Morocco.

Spain qualified as the European champion at last year's U-21 championships in Denmark but exited from the Olympics along with Switzerland and Belarus, leaving only co-host Great Britain in the final eight.

"We created more chances in the last three games than we did in the whole tournament in Denmark last summer," Spain coach Luis Milla said. "We had no luck. We had the recognized style of Spanish play as always but if the ball won't go in, it won't go in. But there is no justification for not scoring."

Adrian Lopez hit the woodwork against Morocco, continuing the bad luck Spain experienced throughout the tournament.

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