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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | SPORT-BY-SPORT REPORT : SOCCER

Brazil Wins, Plays Nigeria in Semifinals

July 29, 1996|Times Wire Services

Brazil, which has won four World Cups but never an Olympic gold medal in men's soccer, edged a little closer in Miami, getting three second-half goals in a 4-2 victory over Ghana.

Ronaldinho's goal in the 62nd minute broke a 2-2 tie and Bebeto added the game-clincher 10 minutes later for Brazil, which advanced to a semifinal game against Nigeria, a 2-0 winner over Mexico in Birmingham, Ala.

Brazil beat Nigeria, 1-0, earlier in the tournament.

The Brazilians were tested by the speedy and skillful Ghana players. And Brazil made it more difficult on itself by starting out disorganized, with players yelling at each other early on.

In an extremely physical game in Birmingham, after Nigerian goalkeeper Joseph Osu made a diving stop on a shot by Jose Garcia, Augustine Okocha scored at the other end to give Nigeria a 1-0 lead, then did a backflip.

Celestine Babayaro scored Ghana's other goal.

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