Mexico finally won a medal in the Olympic Men’s Football Tournament this afternoon – their first ever Gold in this competition.
Peralta opened proceedings with the fastest ever goal in Olympic Football history, stopping the clock at 27 seconds with his low, long ranged drive after a mistake by Rafael.
Brazil rallied, and might have scored a few times themselves but for poor finishing, before Peralta effectively killed the game off after he got on the end of a free kick from the far side of the penalty area to head home for 2-0.
Brazil scored what proved to be a consolation goal two minutes from time, and new Chelsea signing Oscar should have made it 2-2 with the last touch of the game, but could only send his point-blank range header over the bar.
Brazil were the favourites in this competition, hoping to win Gold for the first ever time, and with a squad containing the prodigious talents of Neymar, Hulk, Pato, Moura and Oscar, they looked dead certs.
Surprisingly though, Hulk, Moura and Pato started on the bench.
Luis Fernando Tenna’s side got off to the worst pssible start imaginable just after kick off. Manchester United right back Rafael was found wanting in possession, his back pass feeding in Peralta to greatfully slot home.
Mexico looked far the better team, counter attacking effectively and looking comfortable in possession.
And as Brazil huffed and puffed, displaying the same lethargy in the opening half hour as they did against South Korea in the semi-finals, Tenna made the unorthodox decision to send the powerful Hulk on in place of Sandro on the half hour mark.
The Porto frontman nearly made an instant impact on 37 minutes when his speculative long ranged shot swerved in the air, nearly catching the Mexican goalkeeper off guard as he was able to awkwardly parry the ball away.
Then Leandro, the top goalscorer in the competition, fizzed an effort wide of the target after being teed up by Marcelo inside the area.
There was a sense that Brazil were beginning to steadily grow into the game as the half-time whistle was blown by Premier league referee Mark Clattenburg.
Brazil started the better team in the second half, first Hulk won, then smashed his freekick into the Mexican wall, before Neymar sent an effort over the bar.
Brazil continued to show urgency, and when Neymar jinked and shimmied his way into the box, it looked like he must score, before a last ditch Mexican tackle took all the sting out of the strike for the keeper to save with ease.
On 63 minutes though the game was so close to being up for Brazil. Having learned no lessons from conceding the first goal, Thiago Silva was robbed in possession by Fabian, who rounded the despairing goalkeeper. The ball took a slight deflection however and flicked up into the air, forcing the Mexican into an acrobatic effort at the gaping goal, which only hit the bar and bounced harmlessly to safety.
The effort though seemed to rejuvenate Mexico, who had up until now been glad to let Brazil play. And they had a goal chalked off correctly for offside as Peralta tapped home what he thought was his second of the game.
Pato joined Hulk on the field of play as substitute number two, before Fabian headed over an open goal for Mexico as the Brazilian goalkeeper hopelessly flapped at thin air from a corner.
Mexico weren’t to be denied though goal number two though, and on 74 minutes, Peralta headed home from a freekick, taking advantage of some inadequate marking by Brazil.
The game looked up, before Hulk jangled the nerves with a low drive minutes from time.
And new Chelsea signing Oscar should have made it 2-2 with a point blank header, but could only send his header agonisingly over the bar as Brazil were yet again denied that ever so elusive Gold medal in the Men’s Football.
Rio awaits in 2014 – as the worlds eyes once again turn to Brazil for the World Cup, where they will be hoping for better luck.
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