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Brazil coasts past New Zealand to cap perfect group stage

Newcastle, England (Sports Network) - Brazil finished atop Group C in men's soccer on Wednesday after a comfortable 3-0 defeat of New Zealand.

First-half goals from Danilo and Leandro Damiao put the South Americans in control, while Sandro added a third goal after the break to help Brazil win all three of its group stage contests by a combined score of 9-3.

With Spain having been eliminated from the competition, Brazil is now the clear favorite to capture its first gold medal in men's soccer, with the team set to meet Honduras in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

Damiao put his mark on the game in the first half when he played a one-two with Danilo to set up his teammate's second goal of the tournament in the 23rd minute.

After setting up the first goal, Damiao got on the other end of a low cross from Alex Sandro to tap in Brazil's second goal and put the team in firm control.

Sandro put the result out of reach in the 52nd minute when he finished off a free kick from Marcelo, with the lone blemish for Brazil coming 15 minutes from time when Alex Sandro was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for diving.

Egypt claimed second place in the group with a 3-1 victory over Belarus and will face Japan in the quarterfinals.

After a scoreless first half, Egypt came to life after the break, scoring three times in 23 minutes before Belarus scored a late consolation tally to spoil the clean sheet.

Japan finished on top of Group D after a 0-0 draw with Honduras, which was good enough for both sides to advance, while Spain ended a disappointing tournament with a 0-0 draw against Morocco, leaving the Spanish with one point from three games and no goals scored.

Mexico booked a place in the knockout round for the first time since 1996 as a second-half goal from Oribe Peralta was enough for a 1-0 win over Switzerland, giving the Mexicans seven points from three games, which is enough to win Group B.

South Korea also advanced from the group after a 0-0 draw against Gabon, and the Asian side will meet the Group A winner in the next round, while Mexico takes on the runner up from Group A.

08/01 14:22:27 ET

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