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London 2012 Medal Round-Ology: Recapping Men's Soccer

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While I correctly predicted all eight women's soccer quarterfinalists, I wasn't quite so accurate in the more difficult to predict men's Olympic tournament.

Group C action started the day. Brazil (9 points) was clinical in eliminating New Zealand (1 point) from contention, 3-0. Second place in the group went to Egypt (4 points) who took out Belarus (3 points) 3-1.

The four 12 p.m. ET kick-offs featured only a single goal, scored by Mexico (7 points) in a win over Switzerland (1 point). That and a goalless draw between South Korea (5 points) and Gabon (2 points) gave the CONCACAF champions the Group B crown. The Koreans qualified in position B2. Over in Group D, Japan (7 points) and Honduras (5 points) both qualified after a nil-all stalemate, while Spain (1 point) picked up its only point of the tournament in a similarly empty contest against Morocco (2 points).

Host Great Britain (7 points) closed Group A play out with a 1-0 victory over pre-tournament group favorite Uruguay (3 points), who exits with a third-place finish. The second qualification spot went to Senegal (5 points), even though they only managed a 1-all draw with the UAE (1 point).

With those results in mind, here's how the medal round bracket compares to my picks from Wednesday morning. I only pegged one match up correctly.

Old Trafford Semifinal
(A1) Senegal Great Britain vs. (B2) Mexico South Korea at Cardiff
(C1) Brazil vs. (D2) Honduras at Newcastle

Wembley Semifinal
(B1) South Korea Mexico vs. (A2) Great Britain Senegal at Wembley
(D1) Japan vs. (C2) Belarus Egypt at Old Trafford

The path looks fairly clear for the Brazilians, who are still in search of their first Olympic gold medal in soccer. Honduras won't scare them too much on Saturday, and neither will either of their potential semifinal opponents, particularly as they already handled the host in a friendly in Middlesbrough just days before the Games started. The bottom half is fairly open, though Mexico and Japan have to be favored to move on. Both have only reached the semifinals once -- and that was in Mexico City in 1986, when Japan stunned the host in the Bronze Medal Game.

Who are your picks for the medals?

Follow Mr. Dobbertean's Olympic thoughts (in the evenings during the work week) on his personal Twitter account.

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