This was supposed to be it for Brazil, but no matter how talented their teams over the years tend to be, the gold medal is always a bit out of reach. This time it was Mexico and two goals from veteran striker Oribe Peralta that were too much for the favorites, losing yet again in another Olympic football tournament final, this time 2-1.
It’s not like they didn’t have chances, especially in the end. In the 90th minute it was finally Hulk who managed to break free from Mexico’s defense and give the Brazilians some hope to turn things around during injury time. It was again Hulk who provided a fantastic cross that met the head of Chelsea’s new man, Oscar. Too bad Oscar didn’t give it the soft touch it needed, instead sending the ball over the bar, and the gold medal to Mexico.
Rafael da Silva made the mistake that allowed the opening goal to Mexico after only one minute, and Brazil were chasing a more organized and hard working side for the entire match. Too many touches for Marcelo and Hulk, easily countered and covered. Not enough for Oscar and Neymar, who just couldn’t find the space to create for themselves and for the leading scorer of the tournament, Leandro Damião.
Mexico didn’t hold back in the second half, feeling more and more daring in their counter attacking, eventually getting a deserved second goal, again from the fantastic Peralta, the 28 year old from Santos Laguna, while enjoying a very good day from Carlos Salcido, another over-age player, organizing the Mexican defense very well during the 90 minutes.
Big stars don’t mean much in these games. Too many players worth €20, €30, €40 and more and more in millions just weren’t up for the task when it was all on the line. Brazil, in the Olympics, always seem to fall short. Over confidence or just shaky nerves, something is always in the way. Quite a few of these players will be playing for the national side two years from now in the World Cup, in Brazil. A loss like this won’t be easily forgiven as it might be now.