LONDON – The Brazilian Olympic curse continues.
The five-time World Cup champion again leaves the Olympics without a gold medal in men’s soccer after Mexico stunned the South American favorites 2-1 on a pair of goals by Oribe Peralta. His first goal came 28 seconds into the game, while hundreds of the 86,162 fans at Wembley Stadium were still finding their seats. He scored the clincher in the 75th minute.
Hulk, a burly forward, scored for Brazil in extra time, but it was too little too late.
The game was particularly important to Brazil, which is hosting the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. This Under-23 team, led by star Neymar, came in with much promise and is expected to be similar to the team that competes in the World Cup. The Brazilian federation said before the games that an Olympic gold medal was a priority.
Brazil lost both of its previous Olympic finals. A team featuring Romario and Bebeto settled for a silver medal after a 2-1 defeat to the Soviet Union at the 1988 Seoul Games. The Brazilians have won three silvers (1984, 1988, 2012) and two bronzes (1996, 2008)
For Mexico, this is its first Olympic gold and one of the greatest achievements in the country’s sporting history.