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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | MEN'S SOCCER

Mission Seems Clear for U.S. After Victory

July 23, 1996|Times Wire Services

The U.S. team is leaving the sometimes soggy confines of Legion Field with its next step obvious: Beat Portugal.

After a 2-0 victory over frustrated and foul-prone Tunisia at Birmingham, Ala., the United States (1-1) probably will need a victory over Portugal in Washington, D.C., to advance to the second round for the first time at the Olympics.

"All we wanted to do is have the opportunity to play the third game in Washington, D.C., and advance to the second round," U.S. Coach Bruce Arena said. "Now, our destiny is in our hands."

Jovan Kirovski scored on a direct kick in the first half to give the Americans the lead, electrifying a crowd of 45,687.

The U.S. team held a two-man advantage when Brian Maisonneuve scored in the 90th minute.

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Nuno Gomez slid in front of defender Roberto Ayala to poke in a rebound in the 70th minute for Portugal (1-0-1) in a 1-1 tie with Argentina (1-0-1) at Washington, D.C. Argentina had every chance to pile on the goals. They missed controlled the flow of the match and outshot Portugal, 22-9. . . . Oscar Garcia, who missed a penalty kick early in the second half, redeemed himself with a late goal for Spain (1-0-1) in a 1-1 tie with France (1-0-1) at Orlando, Fla. . . . Mark Viduka scored on a behind-the-back heel kick in the 63rd minute in a 2-1 victory by Australia (1-1) over Saudi Arabia (0-2) at Miami.

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