Brazil served notice of their intent – and more importantly their ability – to retain the Olympic Gold medal in men’s football with an impressive 4-2 victory over Germany on Thursday.
Five years ago in Rio, these two sides met in the final and it took a penalty shootout to separate them; here in Yokohama there was an absolute gulf between them in terms of quality, despite the scoreline somehow ending with just a single goal in it.
In truth, the match was over by the 30-minute mark and the Selecao’s Olympic contingent could have been five or six up by that point – instead it was ‘only’ 3-0, with Richarlison netting them all.
Before the break Matheus Cunha, one of the game’s stand-out performers, saw a penalty saved and he, Richarlison and Antony could all have found the net at least once more apiece as a ragged Germany defence was sliced apart over and over.
Changes during the interval and in the second half, combined with Brazil’s ongoing profligacy, actually saw Germany somehow close the gap despite a red card for captain and overage player Max Arnold, with Nadiem Amiri finishing from the edge of the box and Ragnar Ache heading in a late second.
Paulinho finally wrapped up the win with a stoppage time curler to add some realism to the scoreline.
More to follow…
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