It took Brazil 64 years to win its first Olympic gold medal in soccer. 5 years later, it has its second.
Taking part in in the identical stadium in Yokohama the place its nationwide staff gained the 2002 World Cup remaining, Brazil repeated as Olympic champion on Saturday by beating Spain, 2-1, in additional time.
Malcom, a 24-year-old ahead who performs for the Russian membership Zenit St. Petersburg, delivered the winner as a fresh-legged substitute, scoring off an extended lead move within the 108th minute.
Matheus Cunha had given Brazil the lead in first-half harm time. After controlling a ball between two Spanish defenders within the penalty space, he inexplicably discovered himself alone solely yards in entrance of goalkeeper Unai Simón and slotted residence a low shot.
Spain answered within the 61st minute off a crisp end on the again publish by Mikel Oyarzabal, one in every of a handful of younger gamers known as in to the Olympic squad solely weeks after serving to Spain’s senior staff attain the semifinals of the European Championship.
Oyarzabal’s objective prolonged their lengthy, sizzling summer season to additional time, the place Malcom and Brazil had the final phrase. By then, Spain’s greatest gamers could have merely run their race: Pedri, the staff’s wondrously proficient 18-year-old midfielder, was enjoying his 71st match for membership and nation for the reason that begin of final yr’s La Liga marketing campaign, a staggering workload that had introduced complaints from his membership coach, Ronald Koeman of Barcelona.
“It’s an excessive amount of,” Koeman stated. But go he did, regardless of enjoying a grueling, compressed league schedule after which all however one minute of Spain’s run to the European Championship semifinals.
The medal was Brazil’s seventh within the Olympic match, which the nation first contested in Helsinki in 1952, and got here 5 years after a staff led by Neymar gained the nation’s first gold on residence soil in Rio de Janeiro.
Its victory additionally got here on acquainted floor: Brazil had defeated Germany at Yokohama Worldwide Stadium 19 years earlier, within the remaining of the 2002 World Cup. Ronaldo scored twice that day for Brazil.
4 years later, Brazil launched Dani Alves, a younger defender who would go on to grow to be one of the adorned gamers in soccer historical past. Alves’s glittering profession consists of league championships in Spain, Italy and France and three Champions League titles with Barcelona.
On Saturday, he added an honor that he had been lacking: an Olympic gold medal.