You couldn’t have picked a better final. La Roja and Brazil, two of world football’s most culturally significant nations, faced off this afternoon in the final of the Olympic Games with a gold medal at stake at Yokohama Stadium. Both have one already; Spain from Barcelona 1992 and Brazil from Rio de Janeiro 2016.
Luis de la Fuente’s men went into the game undefeated in the competition, although they’ve went to extra-time in both their quarter-final and semi-final ties. Brazil have Everton’s Richarlison to call upon, the competition’s top scorer with five goals, as well as the incredible Dani Alves, who – at 38 – is looking to win the 44th title of his storied career.
Brazil had an excellent chance to take the lead early doors when they earned a penalty kick after Unai Simon clattered Matheus Cunha. Richarlison stepped up to the plate, but blazed his effort high and wide. The selecao got their breakthrough soon after, however, Cunha finishing superbly after Alves teed him up, before Mikel Oyarzabal, assisted by Carlos Soler, got Spain back on level terms with a stunning volley. Brazil then regained the lead through Malcolm, who showcased strength, speed and an ice-cold temperament to beat Jesus Vallejo and finish expertly.