Updated 08/07/2021 12:07
There are supporters, leaders, coaches and players who consider that the Olympic football tournament is an irrelevant event that does not deserve attention.
Perhaps they will rethink that idea after seeing Dani Alves, winner of 42 titles during his brilliant career, kneeling and tearing on the lawn of the Yokohama International Stadium after Brazil defeated Spain 2 to 1 in overtime and won their second gold. consecutive.
The two teams that had arrived in Japan with a poster of candidates and the two that had shown the best game (although not without ups and downs) agreed to this duel in which the
tried to revalidate the laurels obtained five years ago in Rio de Janeiro and the
, which presented a squad with six players who had been semifinalists in the recent European Championship, was on the hunt for its second Olympic title, after the one achieved in Barcelona 1992.
The game started smoothly and without much rhythm, perhaps conditioned by accumulated fatigue, 28 degrees and 92 percent humidity in Yokohama.
Little by little Brazil was getting in tune and accelerated after half an hour.
The team led by André Jardine had their first great chance in a highly disputed maneuver. At 34, goalkeeper Unai Simón went very wrong to cut a cross and rammed Matheus Cunha. After the medical assistants managed to recover the striker, those responsible for the video assistance system jumped into action and suggested to referee Chris Beath that he review the maneuver. The Australian saw the play on the screen located at the foot of the field and sanctioned a penalty amid the disbelief of the Spaniards. But Richarlison kicked him sky high.
It seemed that the first half would be extinguished without screaming.
However, in added time Marc Cucurella scored badly and allowed Dani Alves to send the ball to the penalty spot, Pau Torres failed in a header rejection attempt and left everything served for Matheus Cunha to beat Unai Simón with a right hand against him left stick.
Matheus Cunha celebrates Brazil's first goal against Spain.
(Photo: Thomas Peter / Reuters)
In the first quarter of an hour of the complement, Brazil lost a couple of chances that would have allowed them to gain peace of mind. And at 16 Spain responded with a center from the right by Carlos Soler and a beautiful volley at the far post from the striker Mikel Oyarzábal that became 1 to 1. In the remaining half hour, nerves and caution prevailed and thus the definition was moved to overtime (the third consecutive for the Europeans and the second for the South Americans).
was better in the first 15 minutes, although it failed to translate that superiority into goals.
He had to wait until the third minute of the complement: a poorly executed corner by Soler allowed a quick exit that found the Spanish defense a bad stop, Antony put Malcom to run, who left Jesús Vallejos behind and defined a cross against Unai Simón.
There was no longer time for the Iberians to recover, who had to settle for their third Olympic runner-up (they had previously achieved it in Antwerp 1920 and Sydney 2000).
The triumph, the one that made Dani Alves cry, was worth the second gold in the history of Brazil, which also has three silver medals (Los Angeles 1984, Seoul 1988 and London 2012) and two bronze (Atlanta 1996 and Beijing 2008) .
Brazil's players celebrate their Olympic title at Yokohama International Stadium.
(Photo: Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)
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