August 20, 2016
VENGEANCE IS GOLDEN
Brazil, Neymar capture Olympic Games title
RIO DE JANEIRO -- Neymar and Brazil got their gold medal and gained some revenge along the way, taking a penalty kicks victory over Germany in the Olympic Games final at Estadio do Maracana Saturday.
Neymar, the Barcelona star who skipped Copa America to concentrate on bringing Brazil its first Olympic soccer title, converted the deciding penalty after the teams played to a 1-1 draw. After each team made the first four penalties, Weverton, one of Brazilís over-age players, saved Nils Petersonís attempt, before Neymar sent his shot past Timo Horn.
Neymar gave Brazil the lead with a precise free kick, the shot going just under the bar into the left side of the net in the 27th minute. Max Meyer tied the score in the 59th minute, as Germany began to take control.
Brazil coach Rogerio Macale pulled goal-scorers Gabriel Barboza and Gabriel Jesus, adding substitutes Felipe Anderson and Rafael Alcantara. Brazil threatened through Felipe Anderson, Luan and Neymar in the late-going, but Horn and the German defense remained compact.
Matthias Ginter converted the Germansí opening PK, followed by Serge Gnabry, Julian Brandt and Niklas Sule. The Brazilians went with Renato Augusto, Marquinhos, Alcantara and Luan, before Neymar converted the decider.
The result seemed to shock the Brazilians. Several, including Neymar, broke into tears, hugging each other, while the Germans went around the stadium applauding the crowd.
Brazil, which had never finished higher than second in the Olympic tournament, was also looking to compensate for a 7-1 loss to Germany in the semifinals of the 2014 World Cup, a match Neymar missed because of injury.