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September 17, 2000
South Africa shock BrazilMike Collett
South Africa scored an upset 3-1 victory over gold medal favourites Brazil on Sunday to leave the Brazilians' place in the last eight of the Olympic soccer competition -- and Wanderley Luxemburgo's position as coach -- seriously in doubt.
Goals from Manchester United's Quinton Fortune after 10 minutes, and substitutes Siyabonga Nomvethe (74) and Steve Lekoelea (90), gave South Africa victory.
At the same time it raised more question marks about the future of Luxemburgo whose job is already under threat because of Brazil's indifferent start to their World Cup campaign.
The result -- coupled with Japan's 2-1 victory over Slovakia in the other Group D match in Canberra -- means Japan top the group with a maximum of six points followed by Brazil and South Africa on three and Slovakia with none.
Brazil now have to play Japan, who have won their last 19 straight matches, in their final group match in Brisbane on Wednesday while South Africa play the Slovaks in Canberra on the same night.
But on this performance -- and their lacklustre display in their 3-1 win over the Slovaks in the opening match -- Brazil will need a massive improvement to beat the Japanese, who scored a 1-0 win over Brazil in the 1996 Olympics.
Brazil's only goal came from Edu a minute after Fortune opened the scoring for South Africa. Although Edu twice had the ball in the net again, both efforts were ruled offside and their dreams of winning the Olympic soccer title for the first time in their history are hanging in the balance.
SWEET AND SOUR FOR FORTUNE
South Africa took the lead in the 10th minute direct from a free-kick after Marcos Paulo fouled Delron Buckley 20 metres out.
The South Africans worked a clever dummy off the ball, ending with Fortune whipping the ball straight into the net with a curling left-foot shot over the Brazilian wall and well out of reach of goalkeeper Helton who had no chance of saving.
That was some consolation for the Manchester United midfielder who had picked up his second booking of the competition after only four minutes for a clumsy bodycheck on Fabiano and is now suspended for the match against Slovakia.
Brazil took less than a minute to equalise. Straight from the centre, they attacked down the right with Fabio Aurelio whipping in the final cross for Edu who powered in a downward header.
With Brazil dominating the game, but not really troubling the goalkeeper, South Africa slowly came back into the match, but it was still a real surprise when Nomvethe scored with a looping header that left Helton stranded.
With Brazil pushing forward for the equaliser, South Africa added a third in the dying seconds when Lekoelea fired into an open goal after Helton could only parry a shot into his path.
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