Brazil vs. Honduras: Lackluster Win Terrible Sign for Brazil's Chance at Gold

Chris Hummer@chris_hummerAnalyst IAugust 4, 2012

NEWCASTLE, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 4: Brazil celebrate a third goal  during the Men's Football Quarter Final match between  Brazil and Honduras, on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at St James' Park on August 4, 2012 in Newcastle, England.  (Photo by Francis Bompard/Getty Images)
Francis Bompard/Getty Images

Brazil may have advanced into the semifinal, but the squad's uninspiring performance against Honduras doesn't bode well for their gold medal chances.

The Brazilians trailed the majority of the match, and had to come from behind twice to secure the 3-2 victory.

Actually, if it wasn't for an ill-timed penalty and a red card, Honduras would've likely scored the upset.

However, the favored Brazilians found a way to squeak out of the quarters, and now they get to continue their quest for the country's first ever Olympic gold.

Up until this match, Brazil had looked great in the tournament. It was the only country to escape the group stage without a loss and had scored a tournament high nine goals.

Historically, Brazil has struggled when they reached the knockout stages, as evidenced by the country's lack of Olympic glory.

This is surprising for a country that has a record five victories in the World Cup. But, the Brazilians younger players—only players under 23 are allowed to compete in Olympic soccer—have struggled when the lights get bright.  

That's exactly what happened on Sunday.

Brazil came out sluggishly in the opening stages of each half, and didn't seem to have the same flair that they're known for.

This may have been okay against an undermanned Honduras squad. But if they play like this in the semis or the finals, Brazil will find itself heading home early.

In the semifinals Brazil will square off with either the hometown British squad, who will have the crowd rocking, or an underrated South Korean team. 

Either would test Brazil at its best, which means it has to play in top form.

The Brazilians can't count on being up a man in every close game, they must find a way to impose their will on other teams, and do it quickly.

If not, they will have to wait till Rio to capture the ever-elusive gold.

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