Brazil downed Honduras while Mexico defeated Senegal Saturday, allowing both to move ahead to the soccer semifinals at the London Olympic Games.

Forward Leandro Damiao rescued Brazil against a Honduras team that seemed to be outdoing itself through much of the contest before finally falling 3-2 at St. James' Park in Newcastle.

Honduras mounted a sterling offense against Brazil, taking the lead at 33 minutes into the match when Mario Roberto Martinez blasted the ball into the corner of the goal.

But Brazil's Leandro Damiao did all that could be asked of a striker - opportunism in the first goal, decision in the penalty kick that boosted his team's score and pure skill in the third that wrapped up the game.

Bad luck for Honduras came in the form of two yellow cards for Crisanto within a minute of each other, leaving his team on the short end numerically.

From that point Brazil took five minutes to tie the match, having one more player in the game but also thanks to the Honduran defense's indecision in the penalty area.

But Honduras went ahead once more with a shot by Espinoza that beat a sluggish reaction by goalkeeper Gabriel.

Then with a penalty shot from 11 meters, Leandro Damiao evened the match, and eight minutes later blasted the winning goal into the net.

Being a point behind with one player less was too much for Honduras, and Brazilian soccer marched one step further toward its dream of Olympic gold.

Meanwhile on Saturday the Mexican Olympic soccer squad took full advantage of Senegal's defensive missteps to advance to the semifinals.

Wembley Stadium was overflowing with soccer fans for a match that saw Senegal often limit itself to playing defense and booting the ball far downfield to keep their rapid attackers away from their goal.

In the first half Mexico went ahead with a goal-scoring header by Jorge Enriquez, then Javier Aquino doubled his team's advantage with a shot into the net from the penalty area.

But the Africans came roaring back with a goal by Konate, top scorer in the Games, and tied the match with 14 minutes left to go when Osasuna Ibrahima Balde headed a corner kick into the net.

With the match in overtime, the Mexicans got their game back with scores by Giovani dos Santos and Hector Herrera.

Brazil has now classified for the semifinals against South Korea, which beat Britain in a penalty shootout, while Mexico will face a Japanese squad that downed Egypt 3-0 on Saturday. EFE