The Men’s Soccer potion of the Olympics is coming to its final stage as only two nation remain in search for the gold. Unlike previous matchdays, today’s games weren’t exactly goal fest. In fact, they were the complete opposite with only one goal being scored in both games!
Nevertheless, both games were intense matchups, where it was unpredictable to guess who the winner would be.
Here’s a recap of today’s semi final matchups.
Revenge At Its Finest
After losing to Mexico in the London 2012 Soccer Olympic final, Brazil managed to get revenge and prevent them from Gold medal glory. Despite this, this wasn’t an easy task for Brazil at all.
The game between Brazil and Mexico was an intense battle that lasted 120 minutes. Both teams would constantly attack each other, but both nations lacked efficiency and attacking opportunities. This mostly has to due with the fact that both teams were constantly fouling each other, to prevent the opposition from growing within the game.
Brazil came close to wrapping things up in regular time as Richarlison’s header hit the post in the 85′ minute. Mexico did also have the opportunity to go ahead as Uriel Antuna blew a chance in front of the goal right before halftime. Nevertheless, the game went on to extra time, where neither team wanted to risk going behind as a goal would mean elimination from Gold Medal contention.
The game was ultimately decided in a one-sided penalty shootout. Mexico missed their first two penalties, which eventually played a factor in their elimination. Brazilian midfielder, Reinier, slotted home the fourth converted penalty to send Brazil through.
Brazil 4 – 1 Mexico (Penalties).
No Gold Medal For the Hosts
In another intense game, the Olympic hosts felt short of winning a Gold Medal on home soil.
Similarly to the previous game, Japan and Spain played out an intense 0-0 draw in the first 90 minutes. The only difference is that Japan and Spain attacked each other more than Mexico and Brazil did. This game was an utter back and forth matchup, where players were running from side to side constantly. Nevertheless, their attacking chances canceled each other out as the game went to extra time yet again.
It was looking like another penalty shootout, until Marco Asensio came to the rescue. The Real Madrid winger came off the bench to attack the Japanese defense on the wing, and boy did he. In the 115′ minute, Asensio received the ball in the penalty box and curled it passed the Japanese keeper.
After having disappointing performances in the group stage, Marco Asensio showed up to send Spain to the Men’s Soccer Olympic final
Japan 0 – 1 Spain (AET)
The podium for the Men’s Soccer portion of the 2021 Olympics will be decided on August 6th and 7th.
Here are the matchups:
Match for Third Place (August 6, 2021): Mexico vs Japan (4:00 AM PST)
Final: Brazil vs Spain (4:30 AM PST)
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