Although Argentina have already secured one of Group A's quarter-final berths at the Men's Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008, there is still all to play for in the final round of group games this Wednesday 13 August. While the Albiceleste have only top spot in the section to play for, Côte d'Ivoire, Australia and Serbia will all be vying to take the second qualifying berth and join them in the next round.
After losing their opening game, the Elephants bounced back with an impressive win over Serbia to move into second place. For them, the qualification scenario is now a simple one: if they beat Graham Arnold's charges on Wednesday, then they are through to the last eight regardless of other results. In contrast, the Olyroos need to take all three points and hope Serbia do not beat Argentina if they are to progress at the expense of the Africans.
With two wins from two games, Sergio Batista's Albiceleste are already in the next round. However, their final game in Beijing will determine their final position in the group as well as their opponents and venue for the quarter-final. A draw, or even a defeat should Côte d'Ivoire fail to win their game, would guarantee top spot for Lionel Messi and Co. Serbia, meanwhile, can only hope for an emphatic win over the South Americans and a favourable result from Tianjin if they are to be among the quarter-finalists.
The player to watch: Zoran Tosic (SRB)
Still just 21, the Partizan attacking midfielder showcased his natural talent and fine shooting in his side's opener against Australia. Against Côte d'Ivoire he also orchestrated plenty of moves, something he will need to do more of when the Serbs take on a very strong Argentina side to remain in the tournament.
The numbers game
9 - The number of consecutive wins at Olympic Football Tournaments Argentina will have collected if they beat Serbia. They currently share the record of eight along with Uruguay (1924 and 1928) and Hungary (1952 and 1960).
"Our fate is in our own hands, and that's fundamental. Many people will imagine our goal is to reach the next round, but in fact our real goal is to make the final," Côte d'Ivoire coach Gerard Gili.
"We're facing the gold-medal favourites, but in football it's never over till it's over. We're banking on springing a surprise, as we're still alive and mathematically in the running," Serbia coach Miroslav Djukic.
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