In an utterly intense game, Brazil manages to narrowly beat Spain to claim the gold medal. This was an intense final where, once again, the match went to extra time. In the end of the 120 minutes, Brazil came out victorious with an extra time goal to win their second consecutive men’s soccer Olympic medal.
Here’s some of the most important takeaways of the game.
Intense First 90 Minutes
The first half started off very intense. Spain dominated the ball possession for the most part, but Brazil were the more dangerous team. Things were split even until the 36′ minute when a cross came in and a Brazilian player collided with the Spanish keeper.
Nobody thought much of this collision until the referee decided to use VAR. Surprisingly, the referee decided to call a penalty after claiming the goalkeeper fouled the Brazilian player. One can say justice was made as Richarlison’s penalty kick went over the bar, blowing the chance to go ahead. Towards the end, Mattheus Cunha vollied a rebound to make it 1-0 in the 45+2′ minute.
After being overtaken in the first half, Spain managed to turn things around. The Spanish side began having better lapses during the second half, putting Brazil in some trouble. Their hard work was rewarded in the 61′ minute as Mikel Oyarzabal scored an utter banger to tie things up.
Things started to look better for Spain as they hit the woodwork a couple time to almost snatch the gold medal from Brazil. In the end, things remained 1-1 to go to extra time, once again.
Malcom Delivers Gold Medal to Brazil
Unlike the first 90 minutes, things were a lot more balanced in extra time. Both teams were constantly pushing forward to score the possible winning goal. This ultimately left a lot of spaces in the back as both teams would attack with the majority of their players.
Everything looked to be going to penalties until Malcom came to the rescue in the 108′ minute. Brazil took advantage of the spaces in the back to send a long through ball to Malcom. The Brazilian attacker recepted the ball and slotted it passed Unai Simon to score the winning goal. Against all odds, it was a player off the bench that delivered the gold medal to Brazil.
After going to extra time in their previous two games, it was evident that the Spanish players were tired. In fact, most of these players also played for Spain in the Euros so it was just a matter of time before exhaustion got to them.
Spain was aware of this issue as they pushed heavily to end the game in the first 90 minutes, but felt short. In the end, these Spanish players deserve a vacation after reaching the Euro semi finals and achieving the silver medal in the 2020 Olympics. This Spanish team has a bright future that could challenge for the World Cup title next year.
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