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BBC Five Live's Ian Payne
"Try as Australia might, they could not score the equaliser"
 real 14k

Saturday, 16 September, 2000, 12:16 GMT 13:16 UK
Aussies out after 21-man brawl
The Australians were reduced to tears
Nigeria 3-2 Australia
Italy 3-1 Honduras
Kuwait 3-2 Czech Republic
USA 1-1 Cameroon

Nigeria eliminated Australia from the Olympic football tournament with a sensational 3-2 win which saw two red cards in a 21-man brawl.

The second defeat for the home nation means that they cannot qualify for the quarter-finals even if they win their last match against Honduras on Tuesday.

Chelsea's Celestine Babayaro was sent off after an altercation with Australian captain Brett Emerton who was also shown the red card.

All the players on the pitch, except for Australian goalkeeper Danny Milosevic, clashed after an accidental collision between Emerton and Julius Aghahowa in the 55th minute.

Nigeria had taken a 2-0 lead with goals from Pius Ikedia and a sublime effort from Aghahowa.

But the Australians hit back when a Hayden Foxe free-kick took a deflection off the head of Azubuika Oliseh in the defensive wall to leave goalkeeper Gregg Etafia stranded.

And then a minute before half-time a clever flick from Mark Viduka set up Kasey Wehrman whose shot went in off the post.

But the home side wasted all their efforts when Victor Agali intercepted a ball and rounded 'keeper Milosevic.

Own goal

Italy beat Honduras 3-0 in the other Group A match.

Goals from the head of Gianni Commandini after 11 minutes was followed up three minutes later by a Massimo Ambrosini header from outside the penalty area.

And Commandini scored his second when he fired home from the edge of the area.

The player struck a third but unfortunately it was his own goal as he headed Julio Cesar Leon's corner past Christian Abbiati.

Nigeria need a point in their final match, against the Italians, to be certain of finishing above Honduras in the second qualifying place.

Injury time

In Group C, striker Faraj Laheeb scored two stunning goals as Kuwait battled back from a goal down against the Czech Republic.

Marek Heinz put the Czechs ahead after only two minutes.

But then Khalaf Almutairi had equalised, ten minutes after the break, leaving Laheeb to take all the plaudits with his superb efforts.

Big defender Roman Lengyel headed home in injury time for the Czechs.

The United States missed a host of chances in Canberra against Cameroon.

A 65th minute penalty from Pete Vagenas to cancel out Cameroon's 16th minute opener. Patrick Mboma slotted home for the Africans after Jeff Agoos pulled down Lauren Etame Mayer in the box.

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See also:

11 Sep 00 |  Football
Double injury blow hits Nigeria
06 Sep 00 |  Leeds United
Viduka's dental delay
30 Aug 00 |  Football
Cameroon lose French pair
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