Peralta scores Mexico's second goal. (Getty)
Heavily favored Brazil once again suffered an unexpected defeat in the Olympic men's soccer final as Mexico took its first gold medal in the sport. Mexico proved to be the sharper side from the very beginning of the match, stunning Brazil with a goal just 29 seconds into the match -- the fastest in an Olympic soccer final since FIFA started tracking Olympic records in 1976 -- on the way to a 2-1 win.
A careless short pass from Brazil defender Rafael led to the quick goal for Oribe Peralta to give Mexico an instant lead. The only other player to score in the first minute of an Olympic football final was Milan Galic for Yugoslavia's gold-medal winners in 1960.
Though Brazil controlled possession for much of the game following that opening goal, Mexico looked sharp and dangerous in the counterattack while 31-year-old captain and goalkeeper Jose Corona made a number of big saves. Brazil's desperation set in early as it subbed in Hulk just 30 minutes into the game and eventually added Pato and Lucas later on. But even with all that talent, Brazil struggled to get meaningful shots off.
[ Photos: Mexico tops Brazil for gold medal ]
Peralta made up for the absence of injured leading goal scorer Gio Dos Santos by adding a second goal in the 75th minute to give Mexico a 2-0 and all but seal the game. Brazil would provide a bit of a fightback very late on when Hulk finally scored in added time and Oscar missed with a header right in front of goal before the final whistle.
Said Brazil manager Mano Manezes, who may not retain his job for much longer after this defeat (via Goal.com):
"I am very sad," the 50-year-old told Globoesporte. "We had done an excellent job till we reached the final.
"We were confident in achieving gold, but we could not replicate our other performances. Despite creating good chances, we never scored the equalizing goal. We can only recognize the superiority of our opponent and congratulate them for the prize we would have liked to see as ours."
So Brazil's Olympic curse continues as it now has three silver medals and two bronze yet still no gold in soccer. For Mexico, this is not only the first gold in Olympic football, but first medal of any kind in Olympic football. Four years ago in Beijing, Mexico didn't even qualify and never made it past the quarterfinals since Olympic men's soccer started requiring U-23 teams in 1992. There's no doubt this is a golden generation for Mexico that's on the rise.
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