Brazil beat Belgium in opening match in Olympics
Belgian national football coach says he is proud of his teams despite 1-0 loss in the opening game.8 August 2008
BEIJING - The Belgian national football team have lost their opening match at the Olympic Summer Games in China.
Brazil, one of the favourites for the gold medal, only overcame tough Belgian opposition 15 minutes from time.
The Belgian team ended the match with nine players as Vincent Kompany and Marouane Fellaini were sent off.
The Brazilian team featured soccer stars like Ronaldinho, Diego and Alexandre Pato, but had their hands full with a tough Belgian opponent.
It was Hernanes who netted the winner in the 79th minute, firing a hard shot from inside the penalty area.
Until then, Brazil had been kept in check by the Belgians but the key moment in the match came when defender Vincent Kompany received a second yellow card on 72 minutes.
Brazil next put up the pressure in the packed Shenyang Olympic Stadium, which welcomed a crowd of 60,000.
Belgium also had Standard de Liège defender Marouane Fellaini sent off with two yellow cards after 88 minutes.
The Olympic football tournament is meant for players under 23 years of age, but a team can field 3 senior players belonging to a different age category.
Mental boost despite the defeat
Speaking after the match, Belgian national coach Jean-François De Sart said he was proud of his boys.
"I think this will give us a mental boost, despite the defeat. We will have to qualify in the second and third match (when Belgium play China and New Zealand), but that's what we always said beforehand."
"It's the referee who decided the match", De Sart concluded.
Kompany said that his second yellow card was deserved, but that first booking was a mistake by the referee. "Nothing happened, honest."
[flandersnews.be / Expatica]
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