Brazil to meet Spain in Saturday’s football final
MEN'S FOOTBALL, SEMI-FINALS
*Full time 0-0. After extra time, Brazil win 4-1 on penalties
Defending champions Brazil booked a meeting with Spain in the final of the men's Olympic football competition, after both sides were taken beyond 90 minutes by their respective semi-final opponents yesterday.
Real Madrid's Marco Asensio struck an extra-time winner as Spain pipped Japan 1-0, following a stalemate in regulation time at the Saitama Stadium.
In Brazil's case, they needed penalties to see off Mexico 4-1 at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium, where the game had ended goalless after extra-time.
Brazil were close to settling their semi-final inside 90 minutes when Richarlison's header hit the post in the 82nd minute.
But, when it came to the shoot-out, they had their goalkeeper Santos to thank for keeping out Eduardo Aguirre's spot-kick and, after Mexico's Johan Vasquez hit the post, Brazil just needed to keep their cool.
Captain Dani Alves, Gabriel Martinelli, Bruno Guimaraes and Reinier all scored to send Brazil to Saturday's final in Yokohama.
"Playing the final of the Olympics is a dream," said Brazil coach Andre Jardine.
"The film I also saw tonight was the film of life... Everything we've gone through. Although we didn't win in the 90 minutes, we took more risks."
Spain defender Eric Garcia acknowledged that Brazil are a quality side, but he added: "We know that if we are going to win the gold medal, we are going to have to play the best teams here." - REUTERS