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ATHENS 2004 | Up Next

Soccer Teams Try to Advance

August 17, 2004|Grahame L. Jones; Diane Pucin

Here, in capsule form, are the events that will be highlighted today in Athens:

Men's Soccer

Only Argentina and Iraq have clinched quarterfinal berths. Mali and South Korea, which play each other in Thessaloniki, are tied atop Group A with four points apiece, but Mali has a better goal difference. A tie would send both through at the expense of Mexico and Greece, who meet in Volos. In Group C, unbeaten Argentina plays second-place Australia in Athens. Again, a tie sends both through, but if the Australians falter, Tunisia has a chance to advance.

Women's Soccer

Only the United States and Germany have made the quarterfinals. The eight other teams are mathematically alive, but China and Greece are the most likely to be eliminated. If Mexico loses by fewer than eight goals to Germany and Sweden defeats Nigeria in final first-round games tonight, China will be knocked out of the competition.

-- Grahame L. Jones

Women's Gymnastics

The United States, defending world champion, tries to live up to its role as favorite tonight.

The U.S. qualified second, behind Romania, with the young Chinese team close behind in third.

Led by 16-year-old Carly Patterson, who qualified first for the individual all-around, the U.S. expects strong performances on the balance beam and uneven bars and hopes for better performances on the vault and floor exercise than it received in qualifying.

This is the first time in the Olympics for the 6-3-3 format, in which three members of each six-person team compete on each of the four apparatus, with all three scores counting.

-- Diane Pucin

Men's Basketball

Coach Larry Brown is looking to snap the U.S. out of the funk that led to its 92-73 loss to Puerto Rico. Brown was grumbling even before the game on Sunday that he was concerned his message, the same one that helped the Detroit Pistons upset the Lakers in the NBA Finals only two months ago, wasn't getting through. A pool-play game against Greece should help.


Michael Phelps also fizzled a bit Sunday, losing his bid for eight gold medals when the U.S. 400-meter freestyle team took bronze. Despite finishing third in his headline duel with Ian Thorpe in the 200-meter freestyle Monday, his bid for seven medals will continue with the 200-meter butterfly and 800-meter freestyle relay.

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