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Gold-medal seeking Brazil held 0-0 in Olympic football opener

Europe
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Brasilia (dpa) - Brazil‘s quest for a first ever Olympic gold medal got off to a stuttering start on Thursday as Neymar and company were held 0-0 by 10-man South Africa in their home tournament opener.

New Manchester City signing Gabriel Jesus hit the post instead of an empty net in the 69th minute of the group A match, after Neymar had a first-half chance saved by goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.

South Africa had defender Mothobi Mvala sent off on the hour for a second bookable offence.

Brazil next play Iraq on Sunday while South Africa take on Denmark the same day. Denmark and Iraq also drew 0-0 Thursday.

Brazil, the record five-times World Cup winners, are yet to triumph in the men‘s Olympic football tournament, losing finals in 1984, 1988 and 2012.

The Olympics come two years after the World Cup in Brazil, where the home team were humiliated 7-1 by Germany in the semi-finals and failed to make the final in Rio‘s Maracana stadium, which will also stage the Olympic final on August 20.

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