Brazil Defeats Spain to Win 2021 Olympic Men’s Soccer Gold Medal

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 7, 2021

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - AUGUST 07: Malcom #17 of Team Brazil celebrates after scoring their side's second goal during the Men's Gold Medal Match between Brazil and Spain on day fifteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at International Stadium Yokohama on August 07, 2021 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
Francois Nel/Getty Images

On the strength Malcom's goal in the 108th minute, Brazil outlasted Spain 2-1 in extra time to take gold in men's soccer at the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo on Saturday.

Malcom, who came on as a substitute at the start of extra time, screamed down the left side of the pitch, raced past a defender and put the ball past Spanish goalkeeper Unai Simon for the game-winner:

#TokyoOlympics @NBCOlympics

BRAZIL!<br><br>They lead in extra time. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TokyoOlympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TokyoOlympics</a> <a href="https://t.co/eE3eXsqiGI">pic.twitter.com/eE3eXsqiGI</a>

With the victory, Brazil became the first team to win back-to-back Olympic golds in men's soccer since Argentina in 2004 and 2008, and they extended their medal streak to four consecutive Olympic Games.

Saturday's match was tightly contested throughout, with both sides having no shortage of opportunities to put themselves in the driver's seat for gold.

The first big chance for either team came in the 38th minute when Brazil was given a penalty after VAR determined Simon had fouled Brazilian forward Matheus Cunha.

Richarlison took the penalty for Brazil on the heels of his dominant performances in group play and the knockout stage, but he put the attempt over the bar, keeping the score tied 0-0.

Brazil still managed to get on the board first, however, as Cunha handled a Dani Alves cross and put it in the back of the net in the second minute of stoppage time.

A desperate Spanish side began to pick up its pace and level of play in the second half, and Spain were rewarded in the 61st minute when forward Mikel Oyarzabal slid to meet a cross from Carlos Soler and put it past Brazilian goalkeeper Santos:

Joe Prince-Wright @JPW_NBCSports

🚨 Spain level against Brazil! <br><br>Substitute Carlos Soler crosses for Mikel Oyarzabal at the back post and he finishes excellently to make it 1-1. <br><br>Game on! <br><br>Watch the Men's <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Olympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Olympics</a> final here ➡️ <a href="https://t.co/X32qa15Ors">https://t.co/X32qa15Ors</a> <a href="https://t.co/UvfaCNDAr3">pic.twitter.com/UvfaCNDAr3</a>

The teams played to a stalemate for the next 25 minutes until Spain narrowly missed what would have been a gold medal-winning goal.

Substitute midfielder Bryan Gil unleashed a beautiful strike from outside the box with just over two minutes remaining in regulation, but it struck the crossbar and went out of play:

Joe Prince-Wright @JPW_NBCSports

💥 What a hit from Bryan Gil! <br><br>The new Tottenham forward soooo close to winning the Gold medal for Spain late on v. Brazil. <a href="https://t.co/j65HuUiDZ7">pic.twitter.com/j65HuUiDZ7</a>

Brazil were given new life with that close call, and they went on to make the most of their second chance with the Malcom goal in the 108th minute.

The win was a major one for every Brazilian player, but it was especially significant for captain Dani Alves, who was emotional after the final whistle:

B/R Football @brfootball

This one was special for Dani Alves 💛💚 <a href="https://t.co/2xcOsW0Rpy">pic.twitter.com/2xcOsW0Rpy</a>

As noted by ESPN FC, an Olympic gold medal was one of the few things missing from Alves' stacked resume:


Dani Alves has completed football:<br><br>6 x La Liga<br>5 x Spanish Super Cup<br>4 x Super Cup<br>3 x Champions League <br>3 x Club World Cup<br>2 x Copa America<br>2 x UEFA Cup<br>2 x Ligue 1<br>2 x Confederation’s Cup<br>2 x French Super Cup<br>1 x Serie A<br>1 x Italian Cup<br>1 x Olympic Gold Medal 🥇 <a href="https://t.co/zRMwHGlmcX">pic.twitter.com/zRMwHGlmcX</a>

The 38-year-old defender is best known for his time at Sevilla, Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain, and he continues to play at a high level for Sao Paulo in the Brazilian Serie A.

Alves never won a World Cup with Brazil, but an Olympic gold medal along with two Copa America titles and two Confederations Cup titles puts him in rarefied air.

The 2021 Summer Olympics will long be remembered as the cherry atop a legendary career for Alves, as well as the coming-out party for several future Brazilian stars, including Cunha and Richarlison.

Meanwhile, the Tokyo Games ended in disappointment for Spain, but it was still a breakthrough tournament, as they won their first Olympic medal since taking silver in 2000.