OLYMPICS / On the Scene

Argentina routs Brazil to reach another final

Updated: 2008-08-20 11:44


BEIJING --Sergio Aguero scored two second-half goals in seven minutes Tuesday and later set up another to lead Argentina to a 3-0 win over rival Brazil and into its second straight Olympic final.

Aguero opened the scoring for the defending champions by chesting in a left-side cross in the 52nd minute, then scored again from two meters (yards) on a cross from the right in the 58th. Aguero also set up a 76th-minute penalty kick that was converted by Juan Roman Riquelme.

Sergio Aguero (C) of Argentina celebrates after scoring against Brazil's goalkeeper Renan during their 2008 Beijing Olympic Games semi-finals men's football match at the worker's Stadium in Beijing on August 19, 2008.[Agencies]

It was the first victory for Argentina against Brazil in three years. It hadn't beaten Brazil since a 3-1 victory in a World Cup qualifier in June 2005.

"It's not a score you see every day when Brazil and Argentina play," Argentina coach Sergio Batista said. "Argentina had a great match, with intelligence and personality."

The Argentine players huddled near midfield after the match and chanted to celebrate. The Argentines also did some celebrating inside the team's bus as it was ready to leave the stadium, jumping around and singing together.

Argentina, trying to become the first nation to win consecutive titles in 40 years, will now face Nigeria in a rematch of the 1996 final in Atlanta, when the Africans won 3-2 for their first and only title.

Brazil will have to wait at least another four years to try to win its first Olympic gold medal. It is the only significant title the five-time world champions have never won.

Breno (R) and Rafina of Brazil vies with Lionel Messi (C) of Argentina during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games semi-finals men's football match at the Worker's Stadium in Beijing on August 19, 2008.[Agencies]

The match in front of a crowd of nearly 53,000 at Workers' Stadium marked the encounter of the tournament's top stars, former FC Barcelona teammates Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho.

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