The Brazilian fans who packed this capital's Mane Garrincha stadium on Thursday expecting to celebrate goals by Neymar and Gabriel Jesus saw South African keeper Itumeleng Khune stonewall their heroes in a 0-0 draw to open the men's soccer competition in the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Brazil, determined to win Olympic gold for the first time in their national game, came up against a South African squad that was tenacious on defense and bold on the attack.

The African side generated the first offensive chance of the match, just two minutes in, when an unmarked Lebo Motiba had the ball at his feet in front of the Brazilian goal, only for substitute keeper Weverton to snatch it away before he could shoot.

Neymar, the FC Barcelona star who led Brazil to the silver medal in London four years ago, saw Khune divert his shot over the crossbar in the 28th minute.

The two squared off again just minutes later, with the same outcome.

In the second half, new Manchester City signing Gabriel Jesus squandered the best chance of the match, hitting the crossbar as the net stood empty.

Brazil's prospects seemed likely to improve when South Africa was reduced to 10 men when Mothovi Mvala was sent off for a second yellow card.

But the reduction in numbers forced the South Africans to tighten their lines, leaving little space for the Brazilians to work any offensive magic.


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