Footballers Give Mexico First-Ever Olympic Gold; Top Brazil in Final
2012 London Summer Olympics: Men's Soccer
London, England (August 11, 2012)
Striker Oribe Peralta scored twice and Mexico finally captured its first-ever Olympic gold medal with a 2-1 triumph over heavy favorite Brazil Saturday in the men's soccer finals at Wembley Stadium.
Peralta, who plays for Santos Laguna, scored the fastest goal ever made in Olympic soccer, driving a low shot past goalkeeper Gabriel Ferreira 29 seconds into the game from a steal by Rafael Aquino.
"It was Aquino's play. He stole it, pressured the ball and in the end the ball's at my feet so I just struck it quickly," Peralta said. "It was an important moment, you have to be prepared from the very first minute to the last one to be able to impact the scoreline."
In the 75th minute, Peralta scored anew with a header from a free kick for his fourth tournament goal that earned him a Bronze Boot, behind Senegal's Moussa Konate and Brazil's Leandro Damiao, who was unable to score in the final.
Hulk grabbed a goal in stoppage time for Brazil, whose Olympic misery continued with the loss. The Brazilians won the World Cup five times but have yet to win Olympic gold.
"We knew Brazil was favorites but we've proven today that we can beat them and we've done that," Peralta added.
"I can't describe how I feel. We dreamt about this every night. It's unbelievable," said midfielder Marco Fabian, holding back tears as he spoke after the game". We did this for all of Mexico and I know that this is a day where we can all celebrate."
With their Olympic victory, Fabian said Mexico should be put together with football elites. "Mexico is a big team. We're a big team and this proves it," he said.
After Peralta's first goal, the Mexicans did not let up on defense, harassing the Brazilians for most part of the first half.
Brazil had a chance to score in the 20th minute but Oscar's kick from eight yards out found the hands of goalkeeper Jose Corona.
Hulk also had an opportunity to tie the count but his kick from 35 yards out was recovered by Corona, who had three saves in the game.
In the second half, Mexico continued its defensive assault on the Brazilians. Neymar saw an opening in Mexico's tight defense but missed a shot from inside the box.
In the 75th minute, Peralta added an insurance goal with a firm header on Fabian's cross, giving his side a two-goal advantage.
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