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Brazil, Mexico to contest Olympic football final

8 August 2012 02:54

Brazil booked a 2012 London Olympic final against Mexico courtesy of a 3-0 semi-final win over South Korea on Tuesday.

Five-time FIFA World Cup winners but yet to taste Olympic gold, Brazil's march towards their first title at the Games continued at Old Trafford thanks to a first-half Romulo effort and Leandro Damiao's brace.

South Korea produced a gutsy performance and were unlucky not to be given at least one penalty.

But Great Britain's conquerors lack the creativity Brazil are capable of and once the South Americans got into their stride, there was no holding them back.

It keeps the overwhelming favourites on track for another major international honour with a squad expected to carry the nation's hopes in the 2014 FIFA World Cup on home soil.

And having extended a remarkable record of scoring three times in all five matches so far, Damiao leading the scorers with six, it is hard to see them being stopped at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

With Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini and FIFA president Sepp Blatter among the interested spectators, Brazil took quite a while to get going, by which time they could easily have been a goal and a man down.

Alex Sandro turned away Kim Hyunsung's far-post header, while Thiago Silva booted Ji Dongwon's effort to safety.

It was the second of those chances that should have triggered a dismissal in addition to a penalty as Juan Jesus kicked Ji in the head with a dangerous high tackle.

Inexplicably, Czech referee Pavel Kralovec decided there had been no infringement.

South Korea goalkeeper Lee Bumyoung twice failed to hold fierce strikes from Damiao, before star duo Neymar and Oscar combined to set up Romulo, who drilled home a low shot.

Snapped up for six million pounds by Spartak Moscow last month, 21-year-old Romulo was one of the few Brazilians on display who could not be of interest to Mancini.

The same is true of Oscar, whose performances in this tournament must have Chelsea fans excited following his arrival at Stamford Bridge.

Damiao is available though and Tottenham Hostpur are being linked with the 23-year-old.

He took his opportunity cleanly enough after Marcelo had failed to turn home Neymar's cut-back.

Damiao had another soon afterwards, his fourth in two games, with Neymar again the architect, the ball breaking to the striker after Oscar's initial effort had been deflected.

Earlier, Mexico came from a goal down to beat Japan 3-1 at Wembley.

Japan led through Yuki Otsu's 12th-minute goal, with Marco Fabian levelling for Mexico on 31 minutes.

Oribe Peralta gave Mexico the lead for the first time in the 65th minute, and substitute Javier Cortes completed the turnaround when he netted a third in the 90th minute.

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