Defending champions Brazil eased through to the quarter-finals of the men’s Olympic football, but 2016 silver medallists Germany are eliminated.

Everton striker Richarlison scored two late goals as Brazil beat Saudi Arabia 3-1 to finish top of Group D, and Cote d’ Ivoire second after holding Germany to a 1-1 draw. In Group B, South Korea beat Honduras 6-0 to qualify as group winners.

New Zealand drew 0-0 with Romania to finish second on goal difference.

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Brazil looked set to be held to a frustrating draw when a header from Saudi Arabia defender Abdulelah Al-Amri cancelled out Matheus Cunha’s early opener at the Saitama Stadium.

However, Richarlison, who hit a hat-trick in Brazil’s opening group game against Germany, edged them ahead again with 14 minutes remaining before sealing the win in stoppage-time.

Germany needed to beat the Ivorians to make it through but fell behind midway through the second half when Benjamin Henrichs put the ball into his own net while attempting a tackle in the six-yard box.

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Eduard Loewen levelled with a free-kick six minutes later to set up a frantic finish, but despite piling on the pressure Germany could not find a winner.

Hosts Japan became the only side to win all three of their group games after thumping France 4-0 in Yokohama.

Egypt will play Brazil in the quarter-finals after a 2-0 win over Australia secured second place in Group C ahead of Argentina, who could only draw 1-1 with group winners Spain.

Spain, who end with five points from their three group games, face Cote d’Ivoire in the quarter-final.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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