Brazil’s semifinal victory over the Koreans (3-0) guarantees soccer fans an explosive match for the gold medal against Mexico. With both teams scoring at least three goals in their quarterfinal and semifinal matches, the gold medal match is bound to be an offensive frenzy.
"We had difficulties in the beginning of the match but the goals came at the right moment and we were able to slowly regain control," Brazil coach Mano Menezes said (via NBC). "What matters the most is that we got our fifth straight win and reached our goal to make it to the final."
Regardless of whether or not Brazil defeats Mexico, Brazil is guaranteed to have a medal better than the bronze they won in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Both Brazil and Mexico will ultimately be contending for their country's first Olympic gold in this event.
Mexico has never won a medal in men’s soccer, period—their best showing at the Olympics was in 1968 when they were defeated by Japan in the bronze medal match (via NBC).
That will no longer be true after the 2012 Olympics. Win or lose, Mexico will go home as medalists. However, Mexico is determined to upset the tournament favorites and make their first medal a gold one.
"We are guaranteed a silver, but we want a gold," said Mexican head coach Fernando Luis Tena (via NBC).
Brazil’s 3-0 shutout over Korea in the semifinal could be indicative of how the final match against Mexico will play out.
Mexico and Korea were both in Group B and tied each other when the two teams met (0-0). Mexico’s inability to put one passed Korea when Brazil managed to fire three passed them is a statistic that Brazilian fans will want to hold on to.
In fairness to Mexico, however, that was the first game Mexico had played in this Olympic contest. When it comes to the gold medal, anything can happen.
Brazilian striker Leandro Damaio netted the second and third goals to put the semifinal match away for his country.
"The entire team had a huge effort to reach the final," said Damiao (via NBC). "We are happy to have made it to the final and we are here to win the gold medal. We are Brazil, we are here for the gold."
One thing is for sure about this final, history will be made for one of these teams.
The only question is: which side will win their first gold?