Tokyo: Spain will play reigning champions Brazil within the Olympic males’s soccer closing after Marco Asensio’s excellent extra-time winner Tuesday secured a 1-0 victory over host nation Japan in Saitama.
The Actual Madrid winger got here off the bench as an alternative and curled in a terrific strike within the one hundred and fifteenth minute, sending Spain by way of to a primary Olympic closing since they completed runners-up on the 2000 Video games in Sydney.
“We knew it was going to be difficult against a good team that was having a great tournament. We knew what we had to do and with patience, effort and hard work the reward had to come.”
Japan will tackle Mexico in Friday’s bronze medal match. Mexico misplaced 4-1 on penalties to Brazil in Kashima following 120 goalless minutes.
Having wanted a last-gasp equaliser towards Ivory Coast within the earlier spherical earlier than prevailing 5-2 after further time, Spain created the higher possibilities over the 90 minutes towards Japan with out making the breakthrough.
Japan goalkeeper Kosei Tani produced a key save to disclaim Rafa Mir within the first half, whereas VAR intervened to overturn a penalty awarded to Spain after a deal with by Maya Yoshida on Mikel Merino.
Takefusa Kubo had a shot batted away by Unai Simon earlier than Japan withstood a late siege, as Kou Itakura threw himself in the way in which of Martin Zubimendi’s strike earlier than Mir fired towards the legs of Tani.
As a shootout beckoned Asensio conjured up a contact of magic, spinning free inside the world and bending his effort past Tani’s despairing dive.
Brazil seal return to closing
Earlier, Brazil goalkeeper Santos saved Eduardo Aguirre’s penalty in a shootout earlier than Johan Vasquez smacked the submit with Mexico’s second try.
Dani Alves, Gabriel Martinelli, Bruno Guimaraes and Reinier all scored for Brazil, who will likely be showing in a fifth Olympic closing on Saturday in Yokohama.
“It’s very special to be able to take part in an Olympic Games and to get to the final. It’s a really happy moment for me,” mentioned veteran Brazil captain Alves, who at 38 is considered one of three over-age gamers within the squad.
“Since the very start we set ourselves the aim of seeking gold, and I think we are deservedly in the final.”Mexico, who beat Brazil to win gold at London 2012, had scored 14 targets in 4 matches on this yr’s match — together with six of their quarter-final victory over South Korea.
Their finest interval towards a disciplined Brazil got here on the finish of the primary half as Luis Romo compelled a superb save from Santos, with Uriel Antuna’s goalbound effort then blocked by Diego Carlos.
Brazil noticed a penalty resolution overturned by VAR after Jose Esquivel appeared to foul Douglas Luiz within the field.
Everton ahead Richarlison, the competitors’s high scorer with 5 targets, practically gained the sport for Brazil simply earlier than the tip of regular time however his glancing header bounced again off the submit.
Brazil gained the 2016 closing towards Germany on penalties and try to hitch Britain, Uruguay, Hungary and Argentina by defending their Olympic crown. Spain gained the 1992 Video games on dwelling soil in Barcelona.