Arsenal Star Gabriel Martinelli Keeps Nerves as Brazil Defeat Mexico on Penalties in Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 08/03/2021, 11:00 AM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Soccer Football – Men – Semifinal – Mexico v Brazil – Ibaraki Kashima Stadium, Ibaraki, Japan – August 3, 2021. Reinier of Brazil celebrates with teammates after scoring the winning penalty during the shoot-out REUTERS/Henry Romero


Defending champions Brazil have advanced to the final of the Olympic football competition for men after the game ended goalless in the regular. While in extra time, Brazil managed to defeat Mexico on penalties.

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The game was almost settled in the 82nd minute of the game when Richarlison’s header struck the post. Yet, the Mexicans somehow managed to push the game till penalties.

Brazil has a flourishing victory

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At the final whistle, Brazil’s players were facing possible shootout loss to CONCACAF opponent, with the possibility of a bronze medal as consolation prize. 
Last week, their women’s team faced a similar dilemma when they lost to Canada (CONCACAF opponent) in the penalties.
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However, they were fortunate enough to win the coin toss and chose to go with experience.
Ochoa got hand to Alves’ opening kick, which landed low to his right, but that was not enough to keep it out. A single save or a miss can make it or break it for a country. 

In the shootout, Brazilian goalkeeper Santos saved Eduardo Aguirre’s initial attempt. With Mexico’s second attempt, Johan Vasquez slammed the crossbar. Brazil scored goals through Dani Alves, Gabriel Martinelli, Bruno Guimaraes, and Reinier in the shootout. As a result, Mexico lost the shoot out 4-1.

They now await Saturday’s final in Yokohama, where they will face either Spain or hosts Japan.

History of the remaining contenders

Despite having potentially one of the strongest teams in world football, Brazil only won its first gold medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics. This is mainly because up until the 1992 Olympics, professional football players were not allowed to play in the Olympics. Somehow, they still won their first gold medal only through a penalty shootout. It seems like lady luck is always on their side when it comes to penalty shootouts.

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On the other hand, Japan is making its seventh consecutive appearance in the men’s competition. They qualified for the semi-finals after defeating New Zealand on penalties in the quarter-finals. Whereas Spain won gold at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. 
In the previous round, they required last-gasp equalizer against Ivory Coast before winning 5-2 after extra time.

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

159 articles

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