- (Photo: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor)
Mexico has beaten Brazil 2-1 in the men's soccer final at the London 2012 Olympics. The stunning result has surprised football fans across the world and sees Mexico claim their first ever Olympic gold in men's soccer.
The Mexicans were on top from the start, taking the lead after just 32 seconds following some poor defending from Brazil. Oribe Peralta struck from the 18-yard box to give Mexico a lead they would not give up throughout the entire 90 minutes.
That goal shocked Brazil and they were disjointed and not fluent throughout. Mexico continued to press and hit the crossbar again with an effort from Fabian Marco.
However, their pressure paid off as the Brazilian defense gave way yet again when a completely unmarked Peralta headed his team's second goal putting them 2-0 up and sending Mexican players and fans into joyous celebrations.
Brazil had entered the tournament as hot favorites, having selected some top players for their squad, where as many other nations had preferred to opt for a younger squad filled with fringe senior players. Brazil came into the Olympics looking to make history and claim their first ever gold medal, however, it was not to be. They had looked poor in some previous games but had come through, but today their lack of intensity and frailties were laid out bare by a high tempo Mexican side.
Brazil did manage to pull one goal back through Hulk in injury time to make it 2-1, and there was panic in Mexican ranks as Brazil opened them up again in the closing seconds only for Oscar to head wide from just five yards trying to claim the unlikely equalizer. But ultimately it was too little too late for the Brazilians and come the final whistle the Mexican players erupted in celebration.
Mexico had beaten Brazil 2-0 in a friendly just earlier in the summer, and they once again stunned Brazil from the outset, scoring the opening goal as thousands were still taking their seats at the packed iconic Wembley stadium in west London.
It was none other than Manchester United player Rafael who was to blame for the opening goal, making a sloppy pass that allowed Javier Aquino to dispossess Sandro, with the ball spilling into the path of Peralta to score the goal.
From then on it seemed that Brazil were simply shell-shocked and could not get back into the game no matter what they tried. And when Mexico made it 2-0 their heads went down.
As the game wore on it was clear that Mexico were looking to set up shop and see out their 2-0 lead, and they invited on Brazilian pressure by defending deep and in numbers. Brazil did manage to ensure there was a frantic finale to the game in the closing moments but Mexico deservedly held on to ensure that the celebrations could begin for the millions watching back home.
A video of the goals can be seen below: