Host City: Sydney, Australia
Venue(s): Brisbane Cricket Ground, Brisbane, Queensland; Bruce Stadium, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory; Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide, South Australia; Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Victoria; Olympic Stadium, Olympic Park, Sydney, New South Wales; Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales
Date Started: September 13, 2000
Date Finished: September 30, 2000
Format: Round-robin pools advance teams to single-elimination tournament of eight teams.
As in 1996, the Brazilians were favored to finally win an Olympic gold medal, having been the runners-up in 1984 and 1988. Again, their national team coach (Vanderlei Luxemburgo) also led the Olympic squad. And, as in 1996, the Brazilians progressed despite a first round shock loss, this time to South Africa. But, as in Atlanta, the Brazilians went out by a golden goal against an African team. The Brazilians were lucky to get into extra time, Ronaldinho scoring the equaliser in stoppage time despite the "Indomitable Lions" being down two men due to red cards. Modeste M'Bami ended the Brazilians' Olympic dream, and Luxemburgo was sacked. Cameroon progressed into the final, coming back from a 78th minute own goal to win 2-1 against Chile. The Spaniards had had a somewhat easier road to the final, winning against Italy and the United States in the knockout phase. The final was a real thriller. Spain went ahead by a goal from Xavi, and missed the opportunity to double the lead when 16-year-old goalie Idriss Kameni stopped a penalty. Gabri then scored the 2-0 anyway, seemingly sealing Spain's second Olympic title after 1992. But Cameroon fought back, and scored two goals within five minutes in the second half. Gabri was then sent off for a flying tackle, followed by his team mate José Mari when he received his second yellow. This left Cameroon in charge during extra time, and they appeared to have won when a goal by star player Samuel Eto'o was disallowed for offside, although if the attacker had started from his own half. After 120 minutes, penalty shots had to decide the champion, the first time in an Olympic football final. All Cameroonians scored, while Iván Amaya missed for Spain. Amaya definitely did not have the night of his life: he had already put a header behind his own keeper for the 2-1.