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Tokyo 2020
Substitute Malcom's extra-time strike retains gold for Brazil’s men in Olympic final
07/08/2021 AT 14:04
It's gold medals for the golden shirts. Brazil celebrate ecstatically, and rightly so; there have been 27 men's Olympic football champions and this is only the fifth time it's been retained. Can they qualify for Paris and go for an unprecedented hat-trick in 2024? Commiserations to Spain, who could well have pinched it at the end of normal time and look to have a promising generation of players that will keep them in rude good health in the coming decade of international football. Thanks for following this today, be well out there.

FT - BRAZIL ARE THE MEN'S OLYMPIC FOOTBALL CHAMPIONS AGAIN!

It's over, and after an exhausting contest Brazil have retained their title!

120+1' - BRAZIL 2-1 SPAIN

Pedri lofts a cross behind for a goal kick. Brazil are so close now; we'll have a minimum of two additional minutes.

120' - BRAZIL 2-1 SPAIN

Spain are running out of time and ideas here. Bryan Gil lofts a cross to the back post, but Santos gathers comfortably.

118' - BRAZIL 2-1 SPAIN

Moncayola breaks down the right for Spain, but his cross is headed clear by Diego Carlos.

117' - BRAZIL 2-1 SPAIN

Paulinho stretches his legs immediately, and looked to have won a corner down the left but Spain are strangely awarded a goal kick.

114' - BRAZIL 2-1 SPAIN

Paulinho replaces Richarlison for Brazil, moments after Bruno Guimaraes drags a shot wide from 20 yards out.

112' - BRAZIL 2-1 SPAIN

Moncayolo comes on for Spain, while Brazil make a defensive change with Menino replacing Antony.

110' - BRAZIL 2-1 SPAIN

Malcolm has been looking likely since he came on and that was superbly taken. Have Spain got anything left? They've looked knackered in extra time.

108' - GOAL! BRAZIL 2-1 SPAIN

Brazil lead again! Soler's corner is awful, low to the near post, and Brazil hit them quickly. A long, diagonal ball from Antony finds Malcolm one on one with Vallejo in the inside left channel. Malcolm scorches past him, into the area, and although Simon gets a foot to the shot it goes through him and high into the corner of the net!

107' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

Rafa Mir and Miranda combine down the left to win a corner for Spain.

106' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

Here we go then; can either team pull out something to win this in the next 15 minutes?

HT in ET

That's halfway in the extra period, and we're still level. Reinier is coming on for Brazil, replacing Claudinho.

105+1' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

Brazil break from the corner through Malcolm, who is cynically hauled down by Bryan Gil. That's a yellow card, rightly so.

105' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

Bryan Gil tests the legs of Dani Alves, running in behind him from a long ball and winning a corner for Spain.

104' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

Rafa Mir replaces Oyarzabal for Spain.

103' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

Spain come back into it, with Olmo and Oyarzabal trying to one-two their way into the box but not quite pulling it off.

101' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

Brazil are taking over here. After good work by Antony and Bruno Guimaraes , Arana fires a dangerous cross through the area which Simon palms away unconvincingly with one hand and it falls to a Spanish foot to clear.

99' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

A poor clearance from Pau Torres in his own area almost breaks for Richarlison, but Spain scramble a clearance and Simon eventually gathers.

97' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

Three corners in a row for Brazil, with Malcolm to the fore in winning all of them. The final one eventually breaks to Claudinho on the edge, who blazes wildly over the bar.

95' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

Malcolm goes on a mazy one on the left of the Spanish area, and his low shot is deflected into the side-netting for a corner.

94' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

Oyarzabal and Nino wrestle for a low cross at Brazil's front post. The former fouls the latter, and it's a free kick to Brazil.

91' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

We're underway again in Yokohama. We've got half an hour, maybe more, to sort out the destination of this gold medal.

CHANGES

Vallejo and Miranda replace Cucurella and Oscar Gil for Spain, while Malcolm replaces Cunha for Brazil.

FT - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

We're not done yet; it's level after 90, and for the fifth time in the knockout stages of this men's football competition we're going to extra-time.

90+2' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

Richarlison rolls his way into the Spanish area but his attempted cross is blocked by Eric Garcia.

90' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

Dani Olmo wins a corner for Spain; we'll have a minimum of three additional minutes as Torres heads a Soler cross high over the bar.

89' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

Douglas Luiz is booked for a professional foul.

88' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

Now Bryan Gil hits the bar for Spain! My oh my. The new Spurs man unloads a rasper with his left from 25 yards out, which beats Santos but clatters the bar and bounces out.

85' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

Oscar Gil hits the bar for Spain! A wobbler of a cross from the right completely deceives Santos, who can only flail at it as the ball goes over him and clips the bar before running away to safety.

83' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

Brazil are swarming around the Spanish area now. Dani Alves finds Claudinho in the area with a cross, but he can't lay it off with his chest to Richarlison and Spain clear.

81' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

Arana rescues an overcooked pass to win a corner for Brazil. Claudinho takes it but balloons the ball over everyone and out for a goal kick.

79' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

Bruno Guimaraes crosses viciously to the Spanish penalty spot, but Simon flies out to punch the ball clear.

77' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

There are a few tetchy fouls going in now. With 13 minutes to go, stakes are high.

74' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

Battling play from Zubinemdi in Brazil's half wins a free kick for Spain. They waste it though, by going backwards and then giving the ball away.

72' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

A superb pass from Pedri finds Bryan Gil on the right. He beats two to get into the area, but at the last second is dispossessed by Antony.

70' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

Brazil now look in danger of losing a game they could have put to bed before Oyarzabal's volley. Spain look very comfortable in possession, and are moving Brazil all over the pitch here.

67' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

Soler finds room on the edge of the area, and fires a dipping shot at goal. Santos gathers at the second attempt with Olmo lurking for the rebound.

64' - BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

There's a break in play as Pau Torres has taken a boot to the head from Cunha after diving in to head clear. Cunha is booked as a result.

61' - GOAL! BRAZIL 1-1 SPAIN

Oh what a goal! Spain work Soler into space on the byline near the right. He lofts a delicious, half-volleyed cross to the back post, where Oyarazabal arrives to slide in and smash an unstoppable volley past Santos high into the net! That is a glorious hit, and we're all square!

59' - BRAZIL 1-0 SPAIN

Gil tries to take on Alves, but his cross is blocked and Spain win a corner. They work it short, the ball glances to Pau Torres at the back post, and his volleyed cross is scrambled behind for another corner.

57' - BRAZIL 1-0 SPAIN

There's a pattern forming here, with Spain hogging the ball and Brazil looking to break. Patience versus explosiveness; one will win out over the other.

55' - BRAZIL 1-0 SPAIN

Simon's had a patchy game so far, but he's kept his team in it there.

52' - BRAZIL 1-0 SPAIN

What a save by Simon! Brazil break like lightning through Cunha, released by a flick on from Claudinho. Cunha squares it to Richarlison in the box, who fakes Gil out of his boots before shooting low to the near post. Simon gets a flick on it with his heel, and the ball loops up, hits the bar and bounces back out! Spain clear and it's still a one goal game.

51' - BRAZIL 1-0 SPAIN

Douglas Luiz reverses a ball through to Antony, who is miles offside but, owing to this fabulous rule we have, runs it all the way through to the area and forces a save out of Simon before finally being flagged for offside.

48' - BRAZIL 1-0 SPAIN

Oh what a chance for Spain! Pedri works it wide to the left, Gil crosses low into the area and Oyarzabal's shot looks to be going in until it hits Soler in an offside position and Brazil escape.

46' - BRAZIL 1-0 SPAIN

We're underway in the second half and Richarlison, who is having a bit of a shocker so far, overruns a simple pass twenty seconds in when he was clean through into the area. Simon gathers; my word, that was a let off for Spain!

CHANGES

Spain have made two substitutions, bring on Bryan Gil and Soler for Asensio and Merino.

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - AUGUST 07: Richarlison #10 of Team Brazil takes a penalty kick and misses during the Men's Gold Medal Match between Brazil and Spain on day fifteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at International Stadium Yokohama on August 07, 2021 in Y

Image credit: Getty Images

HT - BRAZIL 1-0 SPAIN

Almost immediately, it's half-time. What a time to score for Brazil, who are now 45 minutes from retaining their Olympic title. Can Spain come back at them? We'll be back with this in 15 minutes.

45+2' - GOAL! BRAZIL 1-0 SPAIN

Brazil are in front! Claudinho whips a cross to the back post, which looks overhit but Alves manages to hook it back high to the penalty spot. Cunha brings the looping ball down, and places a low shot into the bottom corner with Simon rooted!

45+1' - BRAZIL 0-0 SPAIN

Arana makes hay down the left again for Brazil, cutting the ball back from the byline to find Richarlison, whose first time shot is blocked by Pau Torres. We're now into two additional minutes of play.

45' - BRAZIL 0-0 SPAIN

A slight lull now after the penalty, both teams seem happy to go in level at half-time.

42' - BRAZIL 0-0 SPAIN

Asensio wins a corner for Spain. Olmo takes but it's absolutely awful, curled straight out before it even goes close to the near post. That might be the worst corner I've ever seen.

40' - BRAZIL 0-0 SPAIN

Spain go close again now, as a free kick to the back post flicks off Oyarzabal's head and flies dangerously close to the back post and out.

38' - BRAZIL 0-0 SPAIN

Richarlison takes....and after a stuttering run-up he Waddles it over the bar! What a reprieve for Simon and Spain that is.

37' - BRAZIL 0-0 SPAIN

It's a penalty to Brazil! That looked the right decision, as Simon really flattened Cunha.

34' - BRAZIL 0-0 SPAIN

Close from Brazil! Douglas Costa whips in a free kick, Simon rushes out, misses it completely and Cunha glances the ball wide of goal. Simon absolutely clatters Costa on the follow through, and VAR are checking it; Beath is coming to the monitor to have a look...

32' - BRAZIL 0-0 SPAIN

A looping cross from Cucurella clears everyone and finds Asensio at the back of the area. He moves the ball onto his left foot and whips it in at goal, where Santos gathers comfortably.

31' - BRAZIL 0-0 SPAIN

The revenge hit; Richarlison goes in comically late on Garcia, and is booked for doing so.

30' - BRAZIL 0-0 SPAIN

Antony has had a lively tournament for Brazil. He squirms into space on the right and crosses dangerously into the area, but it's just to high for Richarlison who commits a foul in trying to lunge for the ball and it's a free kick to Spain.

26' - BRAZIL 0-0 SPAIN

Eric Garcia clatters through the back of Richarlison, and he's booked.

25' - BRAZIL 0-0 SPAIN

Ooh, chance for Brazil again! Arana gets the ball on the left and a low cross-cum-pass finds Richarlison on the corner of the six yard box. He's unmarked, but can only scoop his shot into the side netting.

24' - BRAZIL 0-0 SPAIN

Brazil work a lovely move down the left that gets Claudinho into the area near the byline. He stands up a cross into the area but Pau Torres heads clear.

22' - BRAZIL 0-0 SPAIN

After that brief flurry of chances, Spain settle back into possession in Brazil's half. It's warming up, this one.

19' - BRAZIL 0-0 SPAIN

A chance for Brazil now, as Spain cough it up near their own goal. Richarlison finds a nice lay-off to Douglas Luiz, whose shot from the edge of the box is partially deflected by Garcia and Simon turns it around the post for a corner.

16' - BRAZIL 0-0 SPAIN

Chance for Spain! A long ball to the back post finds Oyarzabal six yards out. Instead of heading at goal he tries to nod it down for Olmo; the ball scrambles forth and Diego Carlos gets back to hook the ball off the line! I think Olmo got to that first, but why didn't Oyarzabal plant his header at goal? A huge chance squandered there by Spain.

15' - BRAZIL 0-0 SPAIN

Douglas Luiz jinks into space on the right, but again the cross is disappointing and Spain clear.

12' - BRAZIL 0-0 SPAIN

Brazil are settling in to this, and win a free kick on the right touchline. The timeless Dani Alves swings it into the area but Spain nod the ball away.

10' - BRAZIL 0-0 SPAIN

Antony switches play to Arana on the left edge of the Spanish area. Arana drills a low cross into the area but it's easily gathered by Simon.

8' - BRAZIL 0-0 SPAIN

Matheus Cunha breaks through the first line of the Spanish defence, and runs at Pau Torres, forcing him to back peddle. Cunha tries to slide a pass through to Richarlison into the area, but it's cut out and Spain clear.

6' - BRAZIL 0-0 SPAIN

It's cagey so far, with both teams feeling each other out. Brazil have had their own bout of possession now, all across their own back line.

3' - BRAZIL 0-0 SPAIN

It's all Spain so far, knocking it around confidently through their back four. A flashing pass through the middle almost releases Oyarzabal, but Santos races out quickly to hack the ball clear. Oyarzabal and Santos collide on the follow through, but both are ok.

1' - BRAZIL 0-0 SPAIN

Peep peep! The 27th men's Olympic football final is underway!

THE ANTHEMICS

After striding out to Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes, the respective national anthems of Brazil and Spain blare around the largely deserted stadium. Now it's handshakes and the coin toss; our referee today is Australia's Chris Beath.

HERE WE GO

We've got players milling about in tunnels in Yokohama, it's nearly time. We've got two bright young teams here and a useful bellwether for the 2022 World cup in Qatar coming up; more importantly, there are Olympic gold medals on the line. Let's get it popping.

OH, CANADA!

Before we get going here, a quick reminder of the final of the women’s event yesterday, won on penalties by the Canadians. Look at the joy, what wonderful scenes.

THOU GREAT REDEEMER

Both nations are coming into this final off the back of disappointing summer for their senior teams. Brazil lost the final of the Copa America, while Spain were eliminated on penalties in the semi-finals of the European Championship. It’s a shot at redemption, and directly so for some of the players; Richarlison was in Brazil’s Copa America squad while Unai Simon, Pau Torres, Eric Garcia, Dani Olmo, Mikel Oyarzabal and Pedri represented Spain at the Euros.

ROUTES TO THE FINAL

Brazil won Group D to reach the knockout stages, with the tournament’s top scorer Richarlison filling his boots in victories over Germany and Saudi Arabia. It’s been harder work since then mind; a narrow 1-0 victory over Egypt in the quarters was followed by victory over Mexico on penalties after a goalless stalemate in the semi-final.
Spain’s route has been taxing too. They finished top of the tight Group C ahead of Egypt, Argentina and Australia, before scoring a dramatic late equaliser in their quarter against the Ivory Coast to take it to extra-time. From there they fashioned three more goals, and on Tuesday a late strike in extra-time from Asensio squeezed them past hosts Japan and into the final.

WHAT’S ON IT

Brazil have been all over the medals in recent Olympics, picking up silver in 1984, 1988 and 2012 and bronze in 1996 and 2008 before finally landing the gold they craved five years ago. Today, they have the chance to become the fifth nation to retain the men’s football title after Great Britain (1908 and 1912), Uruguay (1924 and 1928), Hungary (1964 and 1968) and Argentina (2004 and 2008).
This is a chance for Spain to win their second Olympic gold at football, though they’ll do well to top the experience of their first. At their home Olympics in Barcelona in 1992, in a stunner of a kit, a side containing Luis Enrique and Pep Guardiola beat Poland 3-2 to take the title and send the Camp Nou into rapture. Olympic football, folks; it matters.

CHANGES

Both teams make one change to their victorious semi-final starting elevens. For Brazil, Matheus Cunha returns to the attack in place of Paulinho while Marco Asensio comes in for Rafa Mir for Spain.

SPAIN

And here's the Spanish side looking to stop the repeat:

BRAZIL

Here's the team representing the defending champions:

WELCOME

You can make an argument for lots of things not being part of the Olympics. Allow me to demonstrate; I think that grousing incessantly that football shouldn’t be part of the Olympics shouldn’t be part of the Olympics. So there.
This afternoon we’ll have the gold medal match for the men’s football tournament between Brazil and Spain. Right here right now, this matters. It always has. Apart from the inaugural modern Olympics in 1896 in Athens, and the 1932 edition in Los Angeles, football has been a perennial at the games and has a greater heritage in the competition than most sports.
It’s been important enough for Ferenc Puskas, Lev Yashin, Allan Simonsen, Michel Platini, Romario, both iterations of Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to play in, to name just a few. The Uruguayan winners in 1924 and 1928 forced the glory of the World Cup upon us, while Puskas’s Magical Magyars landed gold in Helsinki in 1952 en route reinventing modern football. The brilliant Nigerians secured a landmark international victory for Africa in Atlanta in 1996, backed up by Cameroon securing gold in Sydney four years later. And if you still think it doesn’t matter, take a look below at how Brazil – yes, that one – reacted to winning the one international title missing from their illustrious CV in Rio five years back.
The Olympics is the ultimate sporting showcase, and football is the greatest sport in the world. In the women’s event, won in such dramatic fashion by Canada yesterday, the importance of this title is huge. The men’s event might be an under-23 tournament with a sprinkling of overage stardust, but it habitually hooks in massive crowds (pandemics permitting), has far more cachet globally than in the insular and self-absorbed United Kingdom and is often as engaging and engrossing as any international tournament you’ll see.
Now that’s sorted, let’s all press on, shall we? Brazil versus Spain, coming right at you from the International Stadium in Yokohama shortly.
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