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Olympic Soccer: 5 Things We Learned from Brazil vs. Belarus

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistJuly 29, 2012

Olympic Soccer: 5 Things We Learned from Brazil vs. Belarus

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    On Sunday afternoon at Old Trafford, Brazil was able to advance to the quarterfinals with a 3-1 win over Belarus in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

    Belarus scored the opening goal before Brazil came back and took the rest of the match by storm.

    The man of the match had to be Brazilian starlet Neymar, who delivered two assists and an amazing free- kick goal.

    Before we look ahead to the final group games on Wednesday, here are five things that we learned from Sunday's Group C match.

Neymar Is a World-Class Talent

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    Neymar was clearly the man of the match on Sunday, showing the world why numerous clubs are after his signature.

    The 20-year-old phenom set up Brazil's first goal, which was scored by Alexandre Pato, and played a part in the two second-half goals for the Selecao.

    The Santos forward turned heads in the 65th minute when he put Brazil on top with a spectacular free-kick goal.

    If those two displays of skill were not enough, the young Brazilian delivered a fantastic assist to Oscar in stoppage time with a back-heel pass to feed the new Chelsea signee for the final goal of the match.

There Is Still Work to Be Done in Back Four of Brazil

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    Brazil's attack was picture perfect on the day, but its defense was average.

    Selecao's back four played better after giving up a ninth minute goal to Renan Bressan, but were still too reliant on the holding possession for most of the match.

    There are also a few questions to be asked about keeper Neto, who looked shaky on a few occasions in front of net.

Belarus Still Has a Chance to Make Quarterfinals

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    There are few positives that Belarus can take from Sunday's match, but one is that they still have a good chance of making it out of the group stage.

    Even after its loss to Brazil, the team still is second in Group C with three points.

    Now the only thing that stands in the way of Belarus and the knockout round is Egypt.

    However, Egypt did only draw with New Zealand on Sunday in a match the African giants should have easily won.

Chelsea Fans Should Be Excited About Oscar

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    The other player who stood out on the pitch on Sunday was recent Chelsea signing Oscar.

    The Brazilian midfielder was very active on the pitch and was not shy to take a shot or two on goal from far out.

    Once the Olympics are after, Oscar may get a week or two to rest and then go full throttle into Chelsea's 2012-13 campaign but once he starts playing for the Blues, he will be a great player to watch in Roberto di Matteo's young talented side.

Olympic Refeering Needs to Be Less Leniant

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    There were a few spots in the second half where referee Yuichi Nishimura let the match get out of hand.

    The most striking incident happened late in the second half when Neymar was taken down in the box on a hard challenge. Nishimura did nothing about it.

    This would be considered an isolated incident, but right after Neymar was taken down, Stanislav Dragun was issued a yellow card for hard tackling one of Brazil's players.

    Towards the end of the match, Belarus' players were going in hard on tackles. And, until the 80th minute yellow for Dragun, they had gotten away with it.

    If conduct like this continues, a star player will get hurt.

    This is why referees for the rest of the matches should lay down the law, even if it means having to send someone off.

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