Brazil is one match away from winning its first Olympic soccer gold medal. Neymar and company will take on Germany in the gold medal match at the Maracanã Stadium.
This is one of the most highly anticipated events at the Olympics for Brazilian fans as one of the proudest soccer nations in the world looks to win Olympic gold on home soil. The Maracanã will undoubtedly be packed to capacity for the historic match.
In Brazil’s semifinal match against Honduras, the team left little doubt in the result as Neymar scored the fastest goal in Olympic history just 15 seconds into the match. The team went on to score five more goals to clinch a spot in the gold medal match.
After a sluggish start in the group stage when the team played to two scoreless draws, Brazil has found its form and dominated teams. Brazil has outscored opponents 12-0 in its last three matches.
In addition to the world class talents of Neymar, Brazil boasts a plethora of young talented attacking players, including Gabigol, Gabriel Jesus and Luan.
Luan has scored in every match since his inclusion in the starting lineup in Brazil’s third group stage match. His presence has opened up the game for his teammates.
However, Brazil has been at its best on the defensive side of the ball as the team has still not allowed a goal at the 2016 Olympics.
Germany also struggled in its first two matches as the team needed to win its final group stage match to advance to the quarterfinals. Germany did just that defeating Fiji 10-0 in the most-lopsided Olympic soccer result since 1964.
The team has not looked back since, outscoring opponents 6-0 in the knockout stage. Germany is the highest scoring team at the 2016 Olympics with 21 goals through five matches. Serge Gnabry and Nils Petersen lead the team with six goals each, but Gnabry has been the true star for the Germans.
Gnabry has scored in four of Germany’s five matches since being brought on as a substitute in the first group stage match.
Brazil and Germany have recent history in major international tournament play as the teams matched up in the semifinals of the 2014 World Cup hosted by Brazil.
The match was one of the most embarrassing performances in Brazil soccer history with Germany routing the Brazilians 7-1 on home soil.
None of the players that will be on the field in the gold medal match played in the 2014 World Cup semifinal, including Neymar who was out with an injury.
But with the match being in Brazil, the Brazilians have a unique opportunity to try and erase some of that history with a win over Germany in front of the same fans that experienced the disappointing defeat two years ago.
The gold medal match will be played on Saturday, Aug. 20 at 4:30 p.m. ET. The match will be streamed live on NBCOlympics.com.