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September 29, 2000
-Zamorano double gives Chile soccer bronze
Chile won a scrappy third place play-off match when they beat the United States 2-0 to claim the Olympic soccer bronze medal at the Sydney Football Stadium on Friday night.
He opened the scoring by sending American goalkeeper Brad Friedel the wrong way from the penalty spot and made the bronze safe for Chile after starting and finishing a good build-up with a close-range shot which gave Friedel no chance.
Overall Chile deserved the victory against an unimpressive American side who had reached the Olympic semi-final for the first time but lost 3-1 to Spain in this stadium on Tuesday.
Chile, stunned by a shock 2-1 defeat to Cameroon in the semis, did just enough to win their first ever Olympic soccer medal and their first in any sport since Alfons de Iruarrizaga won a silver in the men's skeet shooting competition in Seoul 12 years ago.
Zamorano also took his tally to six goals for the competition, moving two ahead of teammate Reinaldo Navia, Honduran David Suazo and Cameroon's Patrick Mboma as top scorer with only Saturday's final between Cameroon and Spain to be played.
It took 69 minutes for the deadlock to be broken and came when Australian referee Simon Micallef pointed to the spot after American defender Danny Califf brought down Chilean substitute Sebastian Gonzalez who had only been on the field for eight minutes.
Zamorano made no mistake from the penalty spot and was just as decisive in front of goal after 84 minutes to send the noisy band of Chilean supporters in the crowd wild.
The United States's best chance came when skipper Brian Dunseth hit the Chilean bar with a perfectly-executed half-volley just before Chile took the lead.
For much of the first hour, the game was a midfield slog with few scoring chances at either end.
Chilean defender Cristian Alvarez could have opened the scoring after 24 minutes but lobbed high and wide with only the goalkeeper to beat, while American striker Josh Wolff fired straight at Chile's 34-year-old veteran keeper Nelson Tapia when it looked easier to score rather than fire straight into the goalkeeper's arms.
This was one of the poorest games in the entire competition, but the playoff game is often like that. Olympic soccer fans will be expecting rather more from Saturday's showcase at Stadium Australia.
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