Newcastle (England):  Brazil easily defeated New Zealand 3-0 despite resting some regular starters for the quarterfinals of the men's Olympic football tournament.

Already in the next round, Brazil earned the comfortable win with goals by Danilo in the 23rd minute, Leandro Damiao in the 29th and Sandro in the 52nd on Wednesday night.

The result eliminated New Zealand, which needed to win to have any chance of advancing from Group C.

Brazil won the group with nine points from three matches, while New Zealand exited with one point from a draw with Egypt, which advanced after beating Belarus 3-1 to finish with four points. Belarus ended with three.

Brazil played a man down from the 76th after Alex Sandro received his second yellow card of the match for diving inside the penalty area.

Trying to win its first Olympic gold in football, Brazil will play the quarterfinals against the second-place team in Group D, either Japan, Honduras or Morocco.

The Olympic tournament is the only significant football competition Brazil hasn't won. It earned silver in 1984 and 1988, and bronze in 1996 and 2008.

The Brazilians controlled possession from the start and moved the ball around while patiently awaiting for its chances up front.

"I really liked the way the team played," Brazil coach Mano Menezes said. "We did a good job keeping the ball, we didn't rush the plays and that was important, the plays came naturally."

The first goal came after a give-and-goal play between Damiao and Danilo, who received the ball near the penalty spot and easily sent it past New Zealand goalkeeper Michael O'Keeffe.

Damiao added the second from the six-meter line, finding the open net after a low cross by Alex Sandro. Real Madrid left back Marcelo started the play with a backheel pass to Alex Sandro inside the box.


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